Rhapsody Conducted Paid Search Tests And Reduced Cost Per Trial (CPT) On Mobile To 77%

5 Min Read. |

RHAPSODY_LogoAbout The Company

Rhapsody is an online music store subscription service company based in Seattle, Washington. Rhapsody relaunched itself on April 6, 2010 as separated from the parent company RealNetworks. The website offers different music subscription plans as well as offers MP3s for downloading with some restrictions on their use. It is one of the top brand names as far as companies offering online music subscription services is considered.  The company has a huge and a staggering number of over 5 million titles. The website has a user friendly interface and offers swift downloads as well as offers higher level of search engine capabilities.

Business Objectives

Since online music industry had a stiff competition, Rhapsody needed to out-think their competitors in bringing more and more visitors to the site and increase the number of subscriptions and downloads. The traditional marketing strategies were not enough to keep them in pace with the the competitors so they decided to go ahead with more intensive digital marketing strategies.

Strategies Adopted By Rhapsody

Realizing the fact that they need to be very specific in terms of targeting, Rhapsody conducted a number of tests or you may call search engine marketing campaigns to cater specifically to the audience they were targeting. There were a few challenges that they faced while going ahead with this plan like they had to change the overall keyword bidding structure. For this they needed to optimize the keyword bids. Let us get into what Bid optimization is.

Keyword Bid Optimization

Bid optimization is basically improving the overall return on investment on different keywords. It is a long and complex process. There are certain problems which you can encounter by overlooking bid optimization like:

  • Over payment for clicks
  • Extracting less out of your best keywords

There needs to be constant monitoring to analyse the data and determine the most effective bids. Many marketers rely on Google Adwords automated bidding tool for bid optimization. But that tool is majorly for increasing the number of bids and not for extracting the best out of your bids.

There were other challenges also such as targeting users based on different devices and different operating systems. The company came out with following strategies to overcome the above challenges:

Landing Page Optimization

Landing page optimization is basically working out the best landing page according to the behaviour of the visitors so as to get more conversions and clicks. The main objective of landing page optimizations is to increase the overall traffic on the search engine marketing ad campaign. LPO provides crisp and appealing content to the user so as to attract the potential customer.

The landing pages they developed were responsive which added to the better user experience online. This led to better targeting of potential customers available on different devices. They also customized their landing pages on the basis of the operating system that the user had on the device.

Structured Ad Copy

The Ad copy or the landing page to which the user is redirected after he/she clicks the ad must be very structured so that the user finds it easy and relevant to fill out the necessary details mentioned. A structured ad copy is the fine difference between a visit and a lead. A visit gets converted into a lead when the visitor fills in the details mentioned in the form on the landing page.

Since there were multiple ad copies being run for different targets of potential customers, Rhapsody managed to structure the ads very well in order to get higher returns on the same.

Concept Of Long Tail

The concept of long tail has been highly operational in the field of online marketing off-late. It is basically the usage of long tail keywords being used to target a broad segment of potential customers. These are the queries that contain multiple terms or keywords. The charm of online marketing lies in creating a large business out of a niche market. The concept basically tells that there can be a large number of low return keywords which could be better than a large number of high return keywords. It was initially a concept framed for online buying and selling which now has been extended to Google Adwords and keyword selection. The concept basically says that you can get better returns from a larger set of low performing keywords as compared to a smaller set of high performing keywords. It basically adds on to the budget flexibility as well since low performing keywords generally require a lower bid when compared to high performance keywords.

Better Account Structure

A good account structure always holds the key for better results on the search engine marketing campaigns. Rhapsody had managed the account very well as in they had different structured ad copies for targeting different potential customers. Additionally they had multiple ad copies running in a single ad campaign as well as different ad campaigns altogether were initiated to reach out to the audience effectively.

The systematic approach led to a higher number of leads, better lead follow up as well as higher number of quality leads.


Rhapsody saw the graph pointing upwards in just a few months as soon as they leveraged the paid search engine campaigns to reach out to their potential customers. The number of trials went up a mammoth 523% and the number of trials on the tablets also saw an upsurge by around 300%. The company was also successful in reducing the cost per trial by 77%.

All the above results made Rhapsody more stable in the online music streaming market and has allowed them to stay steady as leaders in such a dynamic workplace.




The major learning from the above case is:

  • Paid campaigns can get you exponential growth in the online world
  • Search engine marketing when executed carefully can lead to a reduction in cost per trial
  • Responsive design of landing pages and websites can increase the number of conversions
  • The number of trials or impressions or visitors can be increased exponentially by properly executing paid campaigns

Image Courtesy: PointIt

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