Apple iTunes Music Store killer?  Real expected to add subscriptions to Rhapsody music service

“Ten years after the release of its first RealAudio multimedia software, RealNetworks is hoping to kick-start its second decade with a new push into digital music,” John Borland reports for CNET News. “In New York on Tuesday morning, during a fete complete with a free concert in Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall, the company is slated to make what it has called a ‘groundbreaking’ announcement for the future of its digital music business. Though executives have not released details on the announcement, the company has previously said it’s been nearing the release of a new version of its popular Rhapsody subscription-based music program.”

Full article here.

Tim Arango reports for The New York Post that RealNetworks’ revised Rhapsody “could threaten the popular iTunes service.
Until now, the only subscription digital music service that allowed music to be played on portable devices was Napster’s Napster to Go service. Such services could impact Apple’s iTunes because they would offer cheaper access to a wide range of music that users can take with them on their portable devices… Rhapsody’s service will be available on such portable devices as Creative, iRiver and Samsung, according to a source.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yawn. The only way RealNetworks could break ground would be if Glaser decides to take up jogging. Fat chance of that happening.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
RealNetworks says ‘Harmony’ hack once again compatible with all Apple iPods – April 26, 2005
The Motley Fool: RealNetworks’ new Rhapsody ‘is still largely on the sidelines of the music war’ – April 26, 2005
RealNetworks launches ‘Rhapsody 25,’ ‘Rhapsody Unlimited,’ ‘Rhapsody To Go’ – April 26, 2005
Real CEO Glaser calls Apple ‘deceptive’ with iTunes Music Store – March 07, 2005
Real CEO pitches to half empty room at tech symposium; Apple draws standing-room-only crowd – February 25, 2005
RealNetworks’ CEO Rob Glaser grabs 3 of top 10 spots on ‘Dumbest Moments in Business 2005’ list – January 31, 2005
Bono-Glaser photo caption contest now open – October 25, 2004
Real’s CEO Glaser: ‘Harmony’ hack legal, Mac lovers are very sensitive to Apple criticism, and more – September 14, 2004
Analyst: Rob Glaser’s ill-advised war against Apple ‘is going to bite RealNetworks on the ass’ – August 30, 2004
RealNetwork’s CEO Glaser crashes Apple’s music party – July 30, 2004
Real CEO Glaser: Steve Jobs’ comments on Real ‘not succeeding’ are ‘ridiculously humorous’ – April 29, 2004
NY Times: Real CEO Glaser was close to having ‘iPod’ before Apple, but let it ‘slip through his fingers – April 24, 2004
Real’s CEO Glaser: Apple’s iPod/iTunes combo ‘threatens to turn off consumers’ – April 20, 2004
Jobs to Glaser: go pound sand – April 16, 2004
Real CEO Glaser begs Apple to make iPod play nice with other music services – March 24, 2004
Real CEO Glaser: ‘iTunes is only going to be used for playing songs you bought using the iTunes store – January 16, 2004


  1. The only company that should be worried is Napster. Instead of having an exclusive on the tiny subscription to go market they now have to split it. They will likely make it so neither service is profitable.

  2. It sounds less like a true blue competitor to iTunes and more like the sliver of the pie that is Subscription models is now going to be sliced even smaller.

    Bigger question is at what cost is Real presenting this ground breaking service? I don’t want ot hear revenue I want ot hear profit. This is post 2000 profits matter not users and revenue

  3. iSteve’s got it right. They are going to compete with Napster which will result in both losing money and eventually going out of business. This won’t hurt Apple at all.

  4. LOL… MDN, I split a gut! Just when I almost fell out of my chair dozing off while reading about this “groundbreaking” news, I ended up on the floor anyway in laughter. Ok. I’m awake now.

    Real has to do better than this if they expect to get in the news. Maybe they could say something nasty about iPods or ITMS again. That always gets them some free publicity.

    Well, I guess they are “trying” to do this. They could have announced that this new service would cut Napster’s share in half and not do a thing to ITMS, but that wouldn’t have even garnered them an honerable mention.

    In addition, I completely agree with James. Glaser get media coverage every time he takes a pot shot at SJ. He deserves it.

  5. The whole point of the iTMS was to sell more iPods, right?

    iTMS = break-even or slight profit at best

    iPods = hefty margins, growing business, HIGH PROFITS

    Therefore it makes all the sense in the world for Apple to allow ANY music store or subscription service to play on the iPod, right? Even if the service isn’t as good, or as elegant, or has as much choice, or whatever.

    In music, the profit for Apple is in the hardware, not anywhere else in the business model.

    So why does Apple cling to iTMS as the ONLY way to get purchased (or rented) digital music on the iPod? It just doesn’t make sense.

    Customers might want to try a subscription service. They might want to take advantage of a $0.49 per song limited offer from another music store. They may find a genre that’s better represented (like Jazz) somewhere else. But they CAN’T do any of this on an iPod!

    In time, as the competition gets better, and if Apple can’t change its thinking, iPod will lose its near monopoly, and the shift will be sudden and dramatic. Look up what happend to Thomas Edison and his “superior” phonographs, which only played cylinders, not records. From market leader to out-of-business by 1927.

    Jesus, Apple, open the goddam thing up!

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