byÂ Paul Resnikoff
Last year, the once-promising Rdio slipped into bankruptcy, with annual losses approachingÂ $25 million annually. Â Is Rhapsody next?
According to financial details now disclosed, the struggling RhapsodyÂ suffered losses of $35.5 million last year, a figure that increased 66.7 percent from 2014. Â The streaming music company counts 3.5 million paying subscribers, though many of those are bundled into pre-existing mobile plans. Â That suggests lower revenue contributions, unlike higher-paying clientele for rivals like Apple Music and Tidal.
Rhapsodyâ€™s mounting losses are coming against bullish revenue gains. Â Over the year, Rhapsody enjoyed a 16 percent revenue surge to $201.9 million, but that cost was very pricey. Â Breaking $200 million is aÂ record feat for the company, though almost every streaming music rival is displayingÂ a similar pattern of big revenues, but even bigger cash burn.
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And regardless of engagement, the revenue contributions of pre-bundled subscribers are far lower than directly-subscribed users, simply because there isnâ€™t a giant wireless company taking a cut.
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Rhapsody dates back to the early 2000s, and is recognized as a streaming music pioneer. Â Fittingly, RhapsodyÂ also includes the revitalized Napster brand, though all that history isnâ€™t paying the bills.
The financial disclosures were posted by RealNetworks, a 43 percent owner.