rara (service)

Opened 13 December 2011 (2011-12-13)
Owner Omnifone (Original owner)
Pricing model Monthly subscription
Key People Jez Bell (CEO)
Rob Lewis[1] (Chairman)
Platforms Web, iOS, Android, Windows 8
Format Stream, HE-AAC
Restrictions None
Catalogue 22,000,000 tracks[2]
Availability 12 more countries including from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Singapore, Sweden, UK, USA
Website www.rara.com
Alexa rank Decrease 2,362,311 (as of 5 Dec 2015)[3]

rara was a music streaming service offering ad-free, on-demand music streaming from a range of major and independent record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group, global rights agency Merlin and independent digital distributors The Orchard, INgrooves Fontana, Believe Digital, [PIAS] and VidZone Digital Media.[4]

Launched in December 2011[5] by British company rara Media Group Limited, the service featured an initial music catalogue of approximately 10 million tracks.[6] As of October 2013, the catalogue offers 22 million tracks and is available in 32 countries; US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Africa.[2]

The system is currently accessible on both PC and Mac via the web with apps for Windows 8, iOS, and Android.[7]

A rara "web" subscription provides unlimited music streaming via the web to PC and Mac while a "premium" subscription enables access to rara mobile apps as well as offline access to music.[8] Subscriptions are restricted to people with credit/debit cards registered in live countries.

In between February and March 2015, rara stopped accepting new subscribers and announced that the service was up for sale.[9][10][11] Music streaming stopped on March 29.


rara is partnered with HP,[12] BMW, Toshiba and Lenovo and is preloaded onto a range of HP PCs[13] and Lenovo Windows 8 and Android PCs, tablets and Windows 8 convertible devices.[14]



rara has an international catalogue of over 22 million tracks licensed.[2]

On-demand streaming

rara provides unlimited on-demand music streaming. Users can search and play any song from the 22 million track catalogue instantly.


rara enables web users to create their own playlists which are automatically synchronised through the cloud with their other rara devices. Users can also access hundreds of hand curated playlists, categorised by mood, genre, era and currently trending.

Music discovery and recommendation

rara uses a team of music editors to curate channels and playlists on the service for every country where the service is live.[8][15] rara creates personalised music recommendations that are both algorithmically generated and hand curated by rara's team of international DJ's.

High quality audio

Powered by Dolby Pulse, rara streams in high quality audio on web and via apps at a bitrate of 320kbit/s.


rara is available on web via PC and Mac and also via apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android and Windows 8 PC's and tablets.


rara web streaming service was launched on 13 December 2011.[6]

Windows 8

rara Windows 8 app was introduced on 23 October 2012.[14] It was the first on-demand music streaming app to launch on Windows 8 apart from Microsoft's own Xbox music service which is bundled with all Windows 8 devices.


rara iPhone app was introduced on 23 October 2012.[14]


rara iPad app was launched on 23 October 2012.[14]


rara Android app was launched on 13 December 2011.[6]

BMW ConnectedDrive

BMW ConnectedDrive Online Entertainment was first announced by BMW on 19 May 2013 for BMW 5 Series 2013 facelift models. The first compatible vehicles with Online Entertainment included became available to drive from late July 2013. On December 6, 2013 Online Entertainment with rara became available to purchase in all BMW Series 1-7, the M series and the X5 model.


Availability of rara in the world

rara is available in 32 countries: US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Africa. rara individually tailors its music service for every territory, with local language support and a localised music catalogue for each country.


Located in London, England, rara was spun out of digital music service provider Omnifone prior to launch in December 2011. The service is run by parent company rara Media Group Limited with its back end technology platform powered by Omnifone.[16]

The rara.com web streaming service and rara Android mobile app was launched on 13 December 2011 in 16 countries[5] across the US, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, with 10 million tracks from all major labels[17] and a global partnership with HP.[6]

On 14 December 2011 rara announced its launch in New Zealand.[18][19]

On 20 January 2012 rara announced its launch in Australia, Canada and Singapore.[20]

On 31 January 2012 PRS for Music announced a pan-European licensing deal securing royalties from rara for the songwriters, composers & music publishers it represents across Europe.[21][22]

On 18 July 2012 rara appointed Coca-Cola executive Nick Massey as CEO.[23]

On 23 October 2012 rara launched apps for iOS and Windows 8 devices and announced music licensing deals with independent distributors Merlin, The Orchard, INgrooves Fontana, Believe Digital, VidZone Digital Media and an expanded global licensed catalogue to 18 million tracks. rara.com also announced it had added 7 new countries; Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Africa and Portugal, increasing rara.com's territory reach to 27 markets.[14]

On 20 December 2012 rara announced a licensing deal with independent distributor [PIAS] and the addition of 6 new Eastern European countries; Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, expanding its international territory reach to 33 countries worldwide.[24]

On 8 March 2013 rara announced Omnifone and PRS for Music executive Jez Bell as CEO.[25]

On 21 May 2013 rara announced an international partnership with BMW to provide Europe's first in-car music streaming service.[26]

On 11 October 2013 rara announced a partnership with Toshiba to pre-load the rara music streaming app on Toshiba Windows 8 PC's, tablets and convertible devices across Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.[2]

On 6 December 2013 rara expanded Europe's first in-car music streaming service across the BMW range.rara in BMW is available in BMW Series 1-7, the M Series and the X5.[27]

In early 2015, rara announced that the company was for sale and would shut down if a buyer was not found.[9][10] Unlimited music streaming and premium shut down on March 29 in all 32 countries. In June to October, the official homepage still ran without the "sign up", "prices" or "social network" options. However, the page still had the "email" and "sign in" options. The website was finally shut down in November.

See also


  1. Rara launches: Spotify music-streaming rival aims for mass-market appeal. Music Week 13 December 2011
  2. 1 2 3 4 rara partners with Toshiba. Music Week 11 October 2013
  3. "rara.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 5 Dec 2015.
  4. Music service Rara faces challenge to turn free in to $0.99. Paid Content 23 October 2012
  5. 1 2 Music service Rara.com aims for digital non-adopters. BBC News 13 December 2011
  6. 1 2 3 4 Rara.com ‘will take on iTunes and Spotify’ music services. Daily Telegraph 13 December 2011
  7. Rara.com expands to iOS, Windows 8 and more countries. Engadget 24 October 2012
  8. 1 2 Australian music-streaming services compared. CNET 30 October 2012
  9. 1 2 Rara will be shut or sold as ceo Jez Bell exits Music Business Worldwide on March 13, 2015
  10. 1 2 Rara up for sale CMU "Complete Music Update" on February 16, 2015
  11. Omnifone ceo sees bright future despite falling revenues and loss of big clients Music :) ally on February 13, 2015
  12. Rara.com to bring music streaming 'to the masses'. Tech Radar 13 December 2011
  13. Rara.com Aims at Spotify’s Throat With Ad-Free Music Streaming For 99p a Month. Gismodo 13 December 2011
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 Rara.com Turns Up The Volume On Its Music Streaming: Launches Windows 8, iOS Apps; Inks Lenovo Deal; Now In 27 Markets. TechCrunch 23 October 2012
  15. Can rara.com Fight Spotify For Streaming Music Supremacy?. lifehacker 23 October 2012
  16. Omnifone, Powers Music For Sony, BlackBerry, Rara.com, Turns Profit. Billboard 11 September 2012
  17. "New Music Service Rara.com Faces Big Obstacles".
  18. Siobhan Keogh (14 February 2016). "Streaming music service launches in NZ". PC World New Zealand.
  19. Global Digital Music Service rara.com Launches Across New Zealand 14 December 2011
  20. "Rdio, Rara Launch Subscription Streaming In Australia". Billboard. 20 January 2012.
  21. Rara.com signs licensing deal with PRS for Music. Telecom Paper 31 january 2012
  22. PRS For Music And Rara.com Sign Licensing Deal. Music Industry News Network 5 February 2012
  23. Rara.com appoints former Coca Cola exec Nick Massey as CEO. Music Week 18 July 2012
  24. Rara licenses PIAS digital catalogue, expands to 33 countries. Music Week 20 December 2012
  25. Rara to capitalise on footprint with "strong and local" music policy. MusicAlly blog 8 March 2013
  26. rara with BMW launches European in-car streaming service. Billboard 22 May 2013
  27. The Drum 6 December 2013

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