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Napster Expands Streaming-Music in Europe to Challenge Spotify

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Napster is expected to have at least 5 million paying subscribers in three years. Close

Napster is expected to have at least 5 million paying subscribers in three years.

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Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Napster is expected to have at least 5 million paying subscribers in three years.

Napster, the subscription music-streaming service challenging Spotify and Rdio in the U.S., says it can boost subscriptions fivefold in the next three years as it expands its offering throughout Europe.

Napster, owned by Rhapsody International Inc., is available in 14 additional countries in Europe including France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands as of today. The service, which costs around 10 euros ($13) a month, has about 1 million subscribers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, said Rhapsody President Jon Irwin.

“In 2013, we’re going to start seeing some real uptake in our business and the adoption by the mass market of streaming services,” Irwin said in a phone interview, speaking from London. Napster is expected to have at least 5 million paying subscribers in three years, he said.

Rhapsody, started in 2001, charges monthly fees to subscribers, while some competitors offer free or advertising-supported services.

The market for digital music has changed since Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iTunes Store opened a decade ago. Users are now signing up to streaming music services which give them full access to millions of songs for a monthly fee. Spotify has 24 million users, including 6 million paying members, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Ewing in Stockholm at aewing5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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