Seattle, WA–RealNetworks has launched a new version of Rhapsody which delivers free, legal access to a library of more than a million songs to anyone in the U.S. for the first time.
The new Rhapsody lets anyone listen to and legally share songs, of their choosing, every month. Consumers download the Rhapsody jukebox software from www.rhapsody.com. Once downloaded, they can listen to 25 full tracks from Rhapsody’s library of over one million songs each month, and enjoy unlimited access to the jukebox’s other features at no additional cost. In addition, Real has also enhanced it Rhapsody Unlimited service and added a new tier called Rhapsody To Go designed for portable digital music.
“With the new Rhapsody, millions of people can now experience and share digital music–legally, and with no strings attached,” said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks. “We think the new Rhapsody will transform digital music. What’s more, we believe that once consumers experience Rhapsody and share it with their friends, many people will upgrade to one of our premium Rhapsody tiers. We thank our partners in the music industry who worked closely with us to create an innovative and win-win approach that works for both the industry and consumers.”
This breakthrough is made possible by several factors including Real’s close collaboration with the music industry to create a more flexible model for consumers to try Rhapsody for free. As part of this arrangement, the music industry is paid for each song at a rate that is generally comparable to full on-demand subscription services. This works for Real and the music industry because the company believes that the new Rhapsody will drive significant increases in consumer usage, subscriptions and purchases of music. Real’s business relationship with Google and new sponsorship relationship with Chrysler will also help offset the music licensing costs.
“RealNetworks is enhancing the web experience for users in compelling new ways,” said Sergey Brin, co-founder and president, Technology, Google. “Providing free, legal music at such a large scale is an impressive accomplishment.”
For more information, visit www.rhapsody.com.