Yahoo Music is now outsourcing its subscription-based offerings to both RealNetworks and Viacom-owned MTV, according to information disclosed Sunday.
As part of the deal, subscription application Rhapsody – now a joint venture between RealNetworks and MTV – will become the exclusive provider of on-demand music services for Yahoo. The move replaces Yahoo Music Unlimited, a service that experienced tepid uptake despite aggressive pricing. Yahoo Music subscribers will migrate their accounts mid-year, according to the companies.
For RealNetworks and MTV, the move introduces Rhapsody to an immense audience, and a larger potential subscriber pool. “Soon, tens of millions of Yahoo users will be able to access their favorite music through Rhapsody – wherever they go, whenever they want it,” said RealNetworks chairman and chief executive Rob Glaser. Rhapsody will also handle various non-subscription transactions, including a-la-carte downloads.
The news comes alongside a music-related acquisition by Yahoo. The mega-portal revealed that it has now purchased the privately-held FoxyTunes, a player plug-in that quickly finds lyrics, videos, bios, and other song- and artist-related information. FoxyTunes offers compatibility with 30 desktop and web-based players.