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The popular music streaming service Rhapsody is set to make its European debut this year, following its acquisition of Napster International. The service will launch in the U.K. and Germany where it will take over from Napster in March, though it will continue to operate under the Napster name.

While Napster hasn’t exactly been a huge success in the U.K. and Germany, with the likes of Spotify already dominating in these markets, Rhapsody believes it is best to maintain the Napster name, which it says is widely recognized, based on an independent brand awareness study.

Rhapsody has promised that those who are already subscribed to the Napster service will benefit from new features, including a new web experience and improved speed and performance. It also assures customers that the existing music libraries that they have already built will not be lost during the migration.

Thorsten Schliesche, general manager for Napster International, believes the company’s acquisition of Napster will strengthen its position as the leading music subscription service:

“We have always been and will continue to be committed to offering music fans the most flexible, comfortable way to consume and discover music – wherever and whenever they want. The acquisition is another important milestone. Combining Napster International subscribers with Rhapsody’s massive base in the U.S. will further strengthen our position as the leading music subscription service.”

Rhapsody claims to be the largest premium subscription music service in the United States, with more than one million paying subscribers, over 14 million tracks across 600 genres, and support for more than 70 devices. Though I have a feeling it will need something special to lure Spotify customers away from their existing subscriptions in the U.K. and Germany.

Are you excited by Rhapsody’s acquisition of Napster?

[via The Next Web]