Yahoo Dumps Music Service, Sends Customers to Rhapsody

As if it hasn't been a rough enough patch for Yahoo, the company just announced that it would be ditching its iffy attempt at all-you-can-eat DRM music, Yahoo! Music Unlimited, and turn what subscribers it does have over to Rhapsody. This is good news for people who may have signed up for Yahoo before reading reviews; in our observations, Rhapsody is a much better service. The only thing that strikes fear in us, from the press release: "A simple process...will convert Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscribers' music libraries to Rhapsody." Uhhh, just don't call it ConvertsForSure, okay? Thanks. Press release after jump.

RHAPSODY AND YAHOO! ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP IN DIGITAL MUSIC

Yahoo! to Exclusively Offer and Promote Rhapsody for On-Demand Music Services

SUNNYVALE, CA AND SEATTLE - February 4, 2008 - Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) and Rhapsody® America, the award winning digital music service of RealNetworks® (RNWK) and Viacom's (NYSE:VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks, today announced a broad strategic relationship in digital music. Rhapsody will be the exclusive on-demand music service for Yahoo!, replacing Yahoo! Music Unlimited. Yahoo! Music and Rhapsody also intend to collaborate on other digital music services such as music downloads. The partnership introduces Rhapsody's award-winning subscription music service to the largest online music audience through Yahoo! Music and reinforces Yahoo!'s focus on providing users with a destination to easily access the best music services and content from across the web.

In the coming months, Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscribers will be migrated to Rhapsody's digital music service through a simple process that will convert Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscribers' music libraries to Rhapsody. Current Yahoo! Music subscribers will have the opportunity to maintain their existing pricing tiers for a limited time period after migration to the Rhapsody service. Additional details will be communicated to Yahoo! Music subscribers closer to the date when account migration begins.

"By partnering with Yahoo!, we are connecting Rhapsody's 'jukebox in the sky' with one of the biggest music audiences on the web," said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks. "Soon, tens of millions of Yahoo users will be able to access their favorite music through Rhapsody - wherever they go, whenever they want it."

"This agreement allows Yahoo! to continue its focus on being the Internet's leading starting point by creating an indispensable music experience that will drive music fans to Yahoo! first on their path to music discovery," said Scott Moore, Senior Vice President and Head of Media, Yahoo!.

The partnership coincides with an announcement by Yahoo! that it has acquired FoxyTunes, the company that developed a popular toolbar plug-in that enables users to control more than 30 desktop and Web-based music players. FoxyTunes also allows users to easily find lyrics, videos, bios and more, based on what is currently playing in a user's media player. By giving Yahoo! users an easy and agnostic tool with which to control and play music, FoxyTunes' functionality across multiple music sources and services also furthers Yahoo!'s goal to be more open. To read more about this announcement, please visit Yahoo!'s corporate blog at yodel.yahoo.com.

"Our partnership with Rhapsody, the acquisition of FoxyTunes and the release of the web-based Yahoo! Media Player moves Yahoo! Music closer to our goal of enabling users to play all of the music on the Web," said Ian Rogers, Vice President of Video and Media Applications, Yahoo!. "But, it doesn't end there, Yahoo! Music will continue to innovate and forge new ways to marry music content with the rich content of the Internet."

"Rhapsody connects fans with more music, in more ways and through more devices than any other on-demand music service," said Neil Smith, Vice President of Marketing for Rhapsody America. "As an unlimited access, on-demand service, Rhapsody is a perfect complement to Yahoo!'s vibrant Yahoo!Music site."