Napster has partnered with Rakuten to enhance the Japanese internet service provider's on-demand music streaming service. Starting today, Napster will deliver song playback and curated playlists to Rakuten Music, with a total of over 20 million songs to be added by the end of this year.
This deal marks a continuation of Napster's strategy of expansion through partnerships and co-branding. The music streamer, formerly known in the U.S. as Rhapsody recently partnered with iHeartMedia to launch a co-branded on demand music streaming service.
Japan is the world's second largest music market after the United States. While CDs and other physical formats still dominate the music industry in Japan, streaming services are just beginning to gain momentum.
With the Napster, deal Rakuten Music expands its catalog to include tracks from global independent music and millions of independent artists.
"We're seeing the emergence of a new era of on-demand streaming in Japan," Brian Ringer, Napster Chief Technology Officer, said. "Today, we're excited to partner with Rakuten, a world-class brand, to extend the Napster experience into Asia and bring the Japanese music community access to over 20 million tracks through our partnership with Rakuten Music."