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Yahoo! hands "Music Unlimited" reins over to Rhapsody

Posted on: 02/04/2008

From USA Today: Yahoo is selling its digital music subscription service to Rhapsody America — a partnership of Real Networks and MTV Networks — as it revamps its music strategy.

Yahoo Music will continue to offer music videos, Internet radio and music downloads. But customers of its monthly Yahoo Music Unlimited service will be migrated to Rhapsody. No firm timetable has been set. Yahoo, which expects the deal to close by the middle of year, did not disclose terms.

Yahoo’s music.yahoo.com is the most-visited online music site with 20 million monthly visitors… But the Music Unlimited service has only about 400,000 customers, says Phil Leigh, an analyst at Inside Digital Media.

Yahoo decided to sell the music subscription service because “we made a strategic decision to focus on the mass audience,” says Yahoo senior vice president Scott Moore.

As part of the deal, Yahoo will promote Rhapsody on music.yahoo.com.

Yahoo Music Unlimited offered discounted subscription rates with a one-year commitment; subscribers now will pay the Rhapsody rate of $12.99 a month for a Web-only plan or $14.99 monthly for a plan that lets them download songs to a media device… Subscription services from Yahoo, Rhapsody, Microsoft and others let you download songs to a variety of portable devices as long as you keep paying a monthly fee. But the services were not compatible with Apple’s market-leading iPod.

Read the entire story from USA Today.

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