Real Introduces Rhapsody.Com, The First Web Destination To Offer Free And Legal Access To A Deep Catalog Of Full Length Songs From All Major Labels
Also Announces Rhapsody Web Services Initiative to Enable Third Parties to Integrate Rhapsody Music Services into their Web Sites
Leading Sites Supporting Rhapsody Web Services Initiative include Comcast High-Speed Internet, MSN, and Rollingstone.com
SEATTLE — December 05, 2005 — RealNetworks®, Inc. (Nasdaq: RNWK), the leader in digital music subscription services with more than 1.3 million subscribers, today announced the beta launch of Rhapsody.com, a Web-based version of our award-winning digital music service that offers consumers a free and legal way to find, play and share full length songs or albums from a deep catalog that includes all major labels. Any consumer can stream up to 25 on-demand songs per month, while Rhapsody subscribers can stream an unlimited amount via the new Rhapsody.com beta site. Rhapsody.com enables consumers to experience Rhapsody without first downloading a PC jukebox application, and for the first time makes Rhapsody available to Mac and Linux users.
Real is also introducing its new Rhapsody Web Services initiative today, which is intended to enable third party Web sites to access Rhapsody music services via the web. Web portals, community sites, music sites, and other Web sites wanting to integrate music services into their Web experience can now begin to access services such as song playback and editorial content, from the award-winning Rhapsody service.
“With Rhapsody.com, we’re bringing the jukebox-in-the-sky to every internet user in America,” said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks. “We’re also laying the foundation to weave music into the fabric of the Internet with our Rhapsody Web Services initiative.”
For consumers, Rhapsody.com is a first-of-its-kind web destination that enables people to use their favorite Web browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari) to instantly find, listen, and share up to 25 full tracks from Rhapsody’s library of more than 1.4 million songs per month, for free. Consumers also get free, unlimited access to 25 commercial-free radio stations. In addition, subscribers to premium tiers of Rhapsody, including Rhapsody Unlimited ($9.99 per month) and Rhapsody To Go ($14.99 per month), can now access their accounts via the new Rhapsody.com and stream an unlimited amount of music.
Rhapsody.com makes many of Rhapsody’s most popular features available to consumers using Windows and, for the first time, Macintosh and Linux-based PCs. The new web-based service does not require consumers to download additional jukebox software, and there is no credit card registration required to begin using the service. Unlike illegal P2P sites, the music industry is compensated for each song played via Rhapsody.com.
Coinciding with the introduction of the Rhapsody.com beta site, Real is also releasing Rhapsody 3.1, an enhanced version of the desktop software version of Rhapsody. Rhapsody 3.1 includes several enhancements that make it even easier for users to buy and share their favorite tunes and know which songs are available for on-the-go enjoyment via Rhapsody To Go.
Rhapsody Web Services Initiative
Real’s new Rhapsody Web Services initiative will enable websites to integrate Rhapsody music services into their websites. Real intends to build multiple components for the Rhapsody Web Services initiative in the coming months, and will work to solicit feedback from the broader internet community to enhance the initiative. Initial web services available today for third parties include:
- Tools for Web sites to create links, called “Rhaplinks,” to individual music tracks, full albums, and radio stations that can be integrated into their Web sites and that enable immediate playback from Rhapsody.com;
- XML feeds, including RSS, of Rhapsody editorial information about music, which third party Web sites can integrate directly into their sites — such as new releases, top 10 tracks, and top 10 albums.
- A blog for third party developers to participate in the future roadmap and development of the Rhapsody Web Services initiative.
More information can be found at www.rhapsody.com/webservices.
Initial companies supporting Rhapsody.com and the Rhapsody Web Services initiative include Comcast High-Speed Internet, RollingStone.com, and Microsoft. Specific implementations include:
- Comcast became the first service provider to launch a new Web-based Rhapsody radio service. The Comcast Rhapsody Web Radio service is currently available to Comcast’s 8.1 million broadband customers — the nation’s largest broadband base. The service further complements Comcast’s online music offering, which also includes: Rhapsody Radio PLUS, Rhapsody Unlimited, and Rhapsody To Go. Comcast Rhapsody Radio provides 50 commercial-free, genre-based stations. In addition to an extra 25 free stations, Comcast customers also can exclusively enjoy a customized station playing The Beatles (www.comcast.net/music).
- RollingStone.com, the official online presence for pop culture icon Rolling Stone, has integrated Rhapsody web services technology throughout its site. The new site, www.RollingStone.com, enables visitors to sample full length free tracks in Rhapsody and view music videos along with the magazine’s archive of groundbreaking music news coverage, feature articles, interviews, photos, movie/album reviews and in-depth political reporting.
- In the coming weeks, Rhapsody.com will be available within Microsoft’s Windows Media Player 10, and in the coming months, MSN will be using Rhapsody Web Services to integrate Rhapsody into its MSN Search, MSN Messenger and MSN Music services.
“Rolling Stone is continuing to break new ground in helping music fans connect with their favorite artists,” said Jann S. Wenner, Chairman of Wenner Media and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine. “Combining Rhapsody’s on-demand music with our definitive editorial content makes RollingStone.com one of the web’s top music destinations.”
“We’re thrilled that RealNetworks is bringing their Rhapsody service to Windows Media Player,” said Linda Averett, General Manager, Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “This is a fantastic addition to the wide range of choices offered to Windows users, and we’re excited to have Real as a partner.”
For more information, visit www.rhapsody.com.
ABOUT REALNETWORKS, INC.
RealNetworks, Inc. is the leading creator of digital media services and software including Rhapsody, RealPlayer® 10, and casual PC and mobile games. RealNetworks has more than 2.2 million paid subscribers to its premium digital media http://www.real.com. Broadcasters, network operators, media companies and enterprises use RealNetworks’ products and services to create and deliver digital media to PCs, mobile phones and consumer electronics devices. RealNetworks’ corporate information is located at http://www.realnetworks.com/company
RealNetworks, RealPlayer, Rhapsody and RadioPass are registered trademarks of RealNetworks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Legal Notice Regarding Forward Looking Statements: This release contains forward-looking statements regarding the anticipated release of one or more products and services and their compatibility and functionality with third party websites and devices that may affect future earnings or financial results. Factors that may impact the forward looking statements include: (a) the success of the deployment and functionality of Rhapsody.com, (b) the success of the development, deployment and adoption of various Rhapsody Web Services; (c) the ability for RealNetworks to obtain and maintain all content rights required from record companies and music publishers to provide various Rhapsody Web Services; (d) RealNetworks’ ability to maintain and expand relationships with various third-party partners (e.g. websites, portals, broadband providers and device manufacturers), and (e) other related factors. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements can be found in RealNetworks’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including but not limited to the most recent reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Copies of filings made with the SEC are available through the SEC’s electronic data gather analysis and retrieval system (EDGAR) at www.sec.gov. RealNetworks assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements included in this document.
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- RealNetworks®, Inc.
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