On June 30, Rhapsody entered into exclusive iTunes territory as it launched its new MP3 store with MTV. Rhapsody will spend $50 million marketing the service over the next year, including more than $15 million in the third quarter, under the banner of “Music Without Limits”. This development includes deals with all of the four major record labels. It will expand the number of companies selling music in MP3 format via Rhapsody. Although this seems like a brilliant move, it is an expected move. After all, the average person spends more time on their iPod than listening to the radio. It does make one wonder, what took them so long? It makes absolute sense for Rhapsody to join the ranks of its top two competitors: iTunes and Amazon.
Although they intend to gain iTunes customers, consumers will keep their iPods. Rhapsody has made some changes in order to accommodate their new customers. The MP3s on Rhapsody are no longer wrapped in the usual Digital Rights Management (DRM). There is no limitation to song availability; their catalog now includes songs from Universal, EMI, Sony, and Warner. The price for a song and entire CD is the same as its competitors. A single song will cost 99 cents and an album $9.99. Another outstanding feature is the ability to listen to the full song before you buy it—no more 30-second snippet. Once a song is downloaded, Rhapsody will import the song file into one’s iTunes account.
Verizon Wireless customers will be able to shop for and purchase MP3s using their mobile phones. The MP3 files will be delivered to the user’s computer, while a second copy-protected version of the song will download directly to the phone. A convenient way to get the music you want, when you want.
Rhapsody’s MP3 store promises to be a contender in the ever present digital world that we live in. Try Rhapsody’s new MP3 store, you just might like it.
For more information, visit: Rhapsody.com.
// Notes from the Road
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