Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today@PC World blog on PCWorld.com.
Yahoo is scrapping its Yahoo Music Unlimited subscription service, replacing it with RealNetworks’ Rhapsody music service. According to both Yahoo and RealNetworks the process of transferring subscriptions from Yahoo Music Unlimited to Rhapsody will start mid-year and will be painless.
Existing Yahoo subscribers will be able to maintain their Yahoo pricing tiers for a limited, though undisclosed, period of time. RealNetworks’ Rhapsody To Go is priced at $15 a month and Yahoo Music Unlimited is priced at $9 a month.
According to Yahoo, “music subscribers will migrate to the Rhapsody service beginning mid-year through a simple click-through process that will automatically recreate the user’s library within a new Rhapsody account.”
Is this a sign of big Yahoo changes to come? Loyal Yahoo users already have to contend with Microsoft wanting to purchase Yahoo.
I can understand why Yahoo might want to partner with another subscription music service. After all, Yahoo has its own ad-funded, streaming service to focus on getting up and running. But even so, I’m not sure Rhapsody was the best choice to partner with at least right now.
Rhapsody music service is based around the RealPlayer application, which was recently labeled as “badware” by non-profit organization StopBadware.org. Announcing a partnership with Rhapsody less than a week after RealPlayer is labeled as “badware” might not go over well with Yahoo users.
In related news Yahoo announced Monday it also acquired FoxyTunes, a company that created a popular toolbar plug-in allowing for people to search for lyrics, videos, and bios based on the song currently playing in their mediaplayer. FoxyTunes works with over 30 Web-based and desktop players including iTunes and, you guessed it, RealPlayer.