Rhapsody Decides It’s A Great Idea To Rename Itself Napster

There’s a new player in the streaming music scene, and it’s name is Napster. No, you have not been suddenly transported to your college dorm room, where you spent hours upon hours gleefully downloading mp3 after mp3: though it’s not exactly a new venture, streaming music service Rhapsody has decided to rebrand itself Napster, a service it owns, because why not?

Rhapsody announced the change in a brief blog post with a graphic reading, “Napster is coming” (like winter is coming, get it? Game of Thrones? White walkers rising from the dead to lay waste to the world?), noting only that there will be “No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists.”

“Same music. Same service. Same price. 100% the music you love. Stay tuned!” the post reads.

Rhapsody has been around since the early days of streaming music, starting as a streaming audio engine called Aladdin in 1999 before it emerged under new ownership with its current name in 2001. But despite its veteran status and the addition of Napster to the company fold in 2011, Rhapsody has been struggling to compete with upstarts in the streaming business like Spotify.

The move comes as the company’s CEO Mike Davis announced that there are other changes afoot within Rhapsody/Napster that means some people will lose their jobs.

“As part of our plan to better position Rhapsody/Napster for long-term profitability and accelerated growth in a competitive global market, we have a new, streamlined structure for the company that unfortunately impacts a number of positions across our global offices,” said Davis, Billboard reported earlier this week. “We will handle the process with the deepest respect and gratitude for all affected individuals.”

He added that Rhapsody had a 35% growth in paid subscriptions last year, with 3.5 million customers by the end of 2015. That’s still a far cry from Spotify’s 30 million or so monthly active listeners.

So heck, maybe the company is hoping that appealing to music lovers’ nostalgia — all those college hours devoted to downloading live concert bootlegs and everything Prince ever did (sorry, Prince) on Napster — will work a little magic for Rhapsody. Excuse me, Napster.

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