Rhapsody in YHOO
This morning the company said it’s exiting the subscription-music market and throwing its support behind Rhapsody America, a joint venture company owned by RealNetworks and Viacom. In the coming months, Yahoo Music Unlimited subscribers will be transitioned over to Rhapsody and Yahoo will begin promoting the new service on its properties.
The deal leaves us with a subscription services market of three: Rhapsody, Napster and Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace. And among those, Rhapsody–with just under 1 million subscribers–will be the leader. “This takes away a competitor, and gives Rhapsody potentially some marketing muscle,” Jupiter analyst David Card told USA Today. “This is good for Rhapsody.”
Indeed. But only if the deal lasts. And there’s good reason to believe it won’t, given Microsoft’s hostile bid for Yahoo. The software giant and Real aren’t exactly old friends.