Rhapsody Music may have found the elusive answer to how to grow a streaming music service: partner with telcos and create new apps. Rhapsody quickly grew from 1.7 million at the start of April to 2 million subscribers at the end of June by partnering with T-Mobile in the US, French telco SFR (as well as other European telcos) and Latin American expansion by Napster, which is owned by Rhapsody.
That's 10 years to gain 1.7 million people, and three months to gain 300,000 more.
A lot of this has to do with Rhapsody Music's new unRadio service, which is new Rhapsody module that combines a Pandora-like radio service with a small amount of offline storage and radio streams. unRadio is a concept that works a lot like what Facebook is doing: use a bunch of separate apps outside of your main service and start branding them as newer, more modern takes on apps and services. We've seen Facebook do this with Instagram and Oculus Rift.
Combine this with Rhapsody Music's idea of bundling services with telcos subscriptions And you have a fantastic new appeal in services and how to draw new subscribers.
Gaining subscribers has been a hard sell for the streaming music industry, with major players like Spotify and Rdio struggling to attract new premium subscribers at a quick enough scale. If you partner with telcos, they can package your service as part of what's offered to people signing up for services with mobile phones, and you automatically gain a large number of new subscribers when people sign up for mobile phone service.