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Napster Is Back as Rhapsody Rebrands Its Streaming Service

Remember Napster? Music streaming service Rhapsody hopes you do, as the company is getting ready to rebrand its U.S. operations under the Napster name.

The change won’t change anything for existing Rhaspody subscribers, the company promised in a blog post Tuesday, detailing that there will be “no changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists.  Same music. Same service. Same price.”

So why is Rhapsody rebranding, you might ask? One reason is that it can. Rhapsody has owned the Napster brand ever since it acquired it from Best Buy in 2011.

Since then, Rhapsody has already been running its own service under the Napster brand in most countries, but kept the Rhapsody branding in the U.S. to not confuse its local user base.

But in recent months, Rhapsody has been feeling the heat from bigger and faster-growing competitors. Apple announced earlier this week that Apple Music now has 15 million paying customers, and Spotify revealed earlier this spring that it now has over 30 million paying subscribers.

As a result, Rhapsody has been forced to lay off some staffers, and is reportedly also closing its San Francisco office. A spokesperson framed both the rebrand and the layoffs as steps to “better position the company for growth” in a note sent to reporters Tuesday.

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