Rhapsody has acquired the Napster service in the UK and Germany, following up on its acquisition last year of Napster's US operations from Best Buy.

The Napster brand will be retained in Europe, unlike in the US, where Rhapsody decided to fold up the streaming music service under its own brand.

The digital music service provider said Thursday it was acquiring Napster International to enter the European market. It is retaining the Napster brand in Europe because an independent study showed the brand is widely recognised in the UK and Germany.

A spokeswoman said the company is not providing information on how much Rhapsody is paying for Napster International, which it acquired from Best Buy.

Rhapsody said that it will retain all employees of Napster International.

Napster subscribers will be migrated to Rhapsody's infrastructure in March, and will benefit from new features, including a new Web experience and improved speed and performance, while keeping the music libraries they have built, Rhapsody said.

For Rhapsody the addition of members of Napster's European sites will add the benefits of scale, as the company competes with a large number of music service providers including European music streaming service Spotify which entered the US market in July last year.

Rhapsody did not disclose how many new subscribers it would get by this acquisition. The company has 1 million paid subscribers in the US, and will update once it has migrated the Napster International subscribers to Rhapsody's infrastructure, the spokeswoman said. Spotify in contrast claimed over 2.5 million paying subscribers in November.