Rhapsody Gets Set to Acquire Napster

Who would’ve thought, all those years ago, that Napster would go on to change hands more than a well-worn penny over the years. Well, maybe a lot of people with astounding foresight into the music industry’s future would have  . . . but that’s besides the point. The latest news regarding Shawn Fanning’s baby is Rhapsody‘s impending acquisition of Napster, a business deal that will see the Headphoned Kitten sharing its customers with the notable social music site.

The recently signed agreement between Napster and Rhapsody will give the latter company access to the former’s subscribers and “certain other assets”. In return, Best Buy (which Napster is considered a unit of) will receive a minority stake in Rhapsody — something that could lead to substantial changes for the music service and its users in the near future.

Jon Irwin, Rhapsody’s president, expects the deal to “further Rhapsody’s lead over [its] competitors in the growing on-demand music market.”

It could very well do just that.

Rhapsody’s acquistion will give both company’s access to Napster’s existing subscriber base and the ability to bring together vastly different lessons for achieving success in the digital music marketplace. Rhapsody and Napster users can expect to see a big difference in the way they experience their services of choice later this fall as the companies begin to implement new business practices that take advantage of one another’s respective strengths. Whatever the result of the acquisition, observers can look forward to a substantial shake-up from two key industry players before long.

The agreement was announced today (Monday, October 3rd) with the actual deal expected to close at the end of November of this year.