As promised, the recently-launched Rhapsody America threaded itself throughout the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, the beginning of a broader promotional push.
The joint venture between MTV Networks and RealNetworks, first unveiled last month, pointed to the VMAs as a consumer launching pad. The spots featured performance clips from the Foo Fighters, Kanye West, and Fall Out Boy, and pointed to Rhapsody as the place for music online. As previously indicated, the venture carries the simpler Rhapsody title for consumer purposes.
The splash will undoubtedly draw fresh visitors, thanks to the massive reach of MTV Networks. In the case of the VMAs, repeat broadcasts will draw even more attention, especially in the wake of an off-balance Britney Spears performance. Whether the broader traffic will result in subscriptions remains unclear, though the precedent offered by Urge is less-than-spectacular. Meanwhile, Rhapsody is currently offering a portion of the Universal Music Group catalog as MP3s, though the broader library remains protected. The VMAs were broadcast from Las Vegas.