Rhapsody is officially taking music service Napster off of the hands of electronics retailer giant Best Buy, according to Rhapsody reps.
According to the deal, Rhapsody will acquire Napster subscribers and certain other assets, while Best Buy will be entitled to a minority stake in Rhapsody.
Rhapsody president Jon Irwin explained in a statement:
This is a ‘go big or go home’ business, so our focus is on sustainably growing the company.
We’re excited to welcome Napster music fans to the best on-demand music experience anywhere. Our new members will have more places to connect to the music they love and to discover new favorites; guided by Rhapsody’s rockstar editorial team and the tastes of other Rhapsody members via our innovative social features.
CNET News reported earlier today sources familiar with the deal said that Rhapsody would announce the merger as soon as today.
The merger will enable Rhapsody to enhance its product line and deliver its digital music streaming platform to vastly larger audience as this combines the subscriber bases of the two largest premium on-demand music services in the United States. Napster has roughly 700,000 subscribers.
That significant chunk of listeners should help Rhapsody as the digital music market heats up with competition from Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, Google's Music Beta, Sony's Music Unlimited and countless other online radio options.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction is expected to close by November 30.