Napster has announced a new partnership with Japanese internet services company Rakuten to enhance its on-demand music streaming service, Rakuten Music.
Under the partnership, Napster will deliver song playback and curated playlists from its catalog to Rakuten Music, with a total of over 20 million songs to be added by fall 2017. The two companies are also working on other collaborations to enhance the features of the Rakuten Music service.
Napster said that Japan is the world’s second largest music market after the US, and while CDs and other physical formats still dominate the music industry in Japan, streaming services are beginning to gain momentum.
According to the IFPI’s 2017 Global Music report, 112 million global users of paid streaming subscriptions drove streaming revenue growth by 60.4% last year.
Rakuten Music will expand the music catalog available to its current subscribers to include songs from global independent music labels. As part of its ongoing support for all artists big or small, Napster will now introduce music from millions of independent artists to music fans in Japan.
Napster recently announced an update to its mobile app that includes new features that deliver a more personal, custom music listening experience. New product enhancements include an interactive playlist, custom playlist recommendations with a simple “Tinder-like” swiping functionality, and access to Giphy’s GIF library to visually personalize playlists with GIFs.