Poor Rhapsody; it's become the red-headed stepchild of online music-streaming services. Under the shared ownership of MTV/Viacom and Real Networks, it's seen its customer base erode by 75,000 users, even as new challengers like Spotify and the Apple-owned Lala nip at its heels.
So in February of this year, Rhapsody cut the apron strings and went solo. Not only that, they're cutting their monthly fees from US$14.99 to US$9.99, and looking to increase their presence on smart handsets like Androids and Blackberries. After all, since over 1.5 million Rhapsody iPhone apps have been downloaded, why shouldn't "the phones for the rest of us" be left out?
Rhapsody‚Äôs president Jon Irwin is confident the fusion of independence, lower subscription fees, and wider handset support will turn the company's fortunes around, especially if the phone apps will help fans track artists and interface with social networks: ‚ÄúWe have our destiny in our own hands, now being an independent company
we‚Äôre ready to take on the competition, it‚Äôs going to be a great year.‚Äù