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Rhapsody Forging Independent Identity, Cutting Prices

Although music streaming sites have enjoyed a successful presence on the Web for many years, the popular services are in the midst of a definite boom. Pandora, Last.fm and Blip.fm have all helped to redefine online music appreciation, and MOG recently announced an impressive mobile program that will provide unlimited downloads and streaming for $10 per month. Spotify, the incredibly popular European service, is also reportedly making its long-awaited and long-overdue stateside debut later this year.

It may have gotten somewhat lost in that streaming shuffle, but Rhapsody, too, is making a daring play to solidify itself as a major, relevant player in the online music marketplace. The almost 10-year-old service has announced that it will be shedding its corporate cloak and forging its own independent business identity. The site, which was in a prior life jointly owned by MTV/Viacom and RealNetworks, will now operate under the moniker of Rhapsody International, and will be offering a slew of new features and discounted services. Perhaps the most attractive incentive for subscribing to the reconfigured company is the new price, which has been significantly cut from $15 per month to a much more competitive $10.

With the abundance (and perhaps overabundance) of such music sites, the fight for streaming supremacy should prove highly entertaining and dramatic. Given Rhapsody's history, capital and 650,000-strong subscriber base, though, the other names may need to rethink their own business models. [From: Wired]

Tags: Blip.FM, last.fm, MusicStreamer, MusicStreaming, pandora, rhapsody, spotify, top

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