Rhapsody, which pioneered music subscription services back in 2001, has struggled a bit in the age of Spotify. Under a new CEO, it recently “streamlined” its business in a way that involved cutting jobs. Now it’s announcing that it’s ditching the Rhapsody brand in favor of Napster, the name it acquired when it bought one of its major competitors in 2011. (It’s already known as Napster in some countries.)
The Napster that Rhapsody purchased was formerly known as Pressplay, which means that this is the second time an existing music service has decided to change its name to Napster. In neither case did the service in question have anything to do with the original Napster peer-to-peer file-sharing service, beloved by music thieves, which was sued out of existence in 2001. And as much as I’d like to see the new, new Napster thrive, I’m afraid I can’t think of many instances in which an ailing company changed its name and reversed its fortunes.