×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rhapsody, Sony Music to Launch Spotify Competitor in Japan

Rhapsody and Sony Music Entertainment today announced a partnership to launch what they describe as the first on-demand, high-resolution streaming music service in Japan. Rhapsody International is providing its “Powered by Napster” platform including a set of systems, tools and APIs to allow SMEJ to quickly launch and bring its on-demand service to market. The service, called Moras Qualitas, is expected to launch early in 2019 and cost 1980 yen (around $17.50) per month, and offers users lossless FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files at a standard of 24-bit/44.1-96khz (Hi-Resolution)/ 16-bit/44.1khz (CD quality).

Rhapsody was an early streaming service that enjoyed popularly in the early 2000s but has since been lapped by other companies, particularly Spotify. It acquired Napster — the illegal file-sharing service that introduced streaming to the world and almost singlehandedly up-ended the music industry at the turn of the millennium — in 2011 and relaunched its streaming service under that name in 2016, although its impact has been minimal.

Unlike most of the world’s larger economies, the Japanese music market has largely resisted streaming on a wide scale. While Japan has been the world’s second-largest music market (after the U.S.) for several years, streaming has yet to be widely embraced in the country; its industry remains based around physical product. According to the IFPI, in 2017 the country’s music revenue was 72% physical, compared with 30% for the rest of the world (Germany, another physical holdout and the third-largest global market, was second with 43%).

Spotify launched in Japan in 2016 but has seen little success in the territory. Rhapsody’s offer of high-resolution sound is presumably an effort to differentiate itself and increase appeal in the market.

“Our partnership with Sony Music Entertainment Japan offers the ultimate experience for audio enthusiasts in Japan as they no longer have to choose between a streaming service and high quality audio.  With mora qualitas, fans can now have both for the very first time,” said Brian Ringer, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific Region of Rhapsody. “We are committed to accelerating the growth of streaming on a global scale by helping new services like mora qualitas launch quickly as well as enhancing existing services.”

“There is a lot of momentum happening in streaming and it’s going to keep getting better for consumers and artists with the introduction of mora qualitas, our new global on-demand audio service,” said Shigeki Tanaka, Senior Vice President of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. “Napster’s deep expertise in high resolution audio streaming and industry experience made them the clear choice to partner with us in launching Japan’s new premier service.”

 

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. RTL said StyleHaul’s U.K. operations, [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content