Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rhapsody acquires two music discovery startups

Taylor Soper/GeekWire

Seattle-based Rhapsody continues to make moves in the online music arena and today acquired two music discovery startups.

The first is Ex.fm, a New York-based company founded in 2010 that helped people find and share music from web browsers. The startup had raised $2.8 million and shut down in May.

Soundtracking is a social network for sharing and finding new music.

“By teaming up, we can build the ultimate music service with an amazing social discovery engine backed by Rhapsody’s catalog of over 30 million songs,” the Ex.fm team wrote. “The idea of combining the best of Exfm with the best of Rhapsody has us all extremely excited!”

The second is Bay Area-based Schematic Labs, which is better known for its Soundtracking app that allows users to “share the soundtrack of your life” and find new music. Schematic Labs, also founded in 2010, had raised $5.7 million.

“We started SoundTracking with the simple goal of allowing people to express themselves through music,” the company wrote in a blog post today. “We’ve accomplished that and more, and now as part of Rhapsody, we are in an even better position to scale and innovate to a broader global audience.”

Soundtracking will continue to be available as a standalone app, while the Ex.fm team has “some pretty amazing plans for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and the Web.”

Financial details of each acquisition were not revealed. Here’s what Rhapsody had to say about each company in a statement provided to GeekWire:

“It’s true — the Schematic Labs team has joined Rhapsody. With Soundtracking, they created an entirely new way for people to express themselves by sharing their musical moments. We’re excited to incorporate that creativity and community focus within Rhapsody’s suite of music services.”

“The Exfm team have done a great job of helping people discover more music to enjoy across the web. We’re thrilled to have them join Rhapsody, and put that product, design and technology expertise to work on the things we’re building here. Together, we’ll help music fans explore, play and love more music.”
Rhapsody has been in the news quite a bit this year. More recently, company last week announced new partnerships with mobile carriers in Europe and Latin America. The music service also noted that the company had topped two million paying subscribers for its Rhapsody and Napster music services — up from 1.7 million in April, but still well below Spotify which boasted 10 million paying subscribers as of three months ago.

In June, Rhapsody inked a deal with T-Mobile dubbed Rhapsody unRadio, which allowed music lovers to listen to songs commercial-free for $4.99 per month. That’s half as much as the normal Rhapsody monthly service of $9.99.

Founded in 2001, Rhapsody spun off from parent company RealNetworks in 2010.

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