Realnetworks Brings Rhapsody To HP Consumer Notebook And Desktop PC Platforms
Rhapsody to Be New Music Management Software for HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario PC Lines
LAS VEGAS — January 05, 2006 — RealNetworks®, Inc. (Nasdaq: RNWK), RealNetworks® (Nasdaq: RNWK), the leader in subscription music services with more than 1.3 million paying music subscribers, announced today that its award-winning Rhapsody® online music service will be promoted on select HP consumer desktop and notebook PCs sold in the United States.
Under a new agreement with HP, Rhapsody will be available via select HP Pavilion, Compaq Presario and HP Pavilion Media Center TV PC product lines. Rhapsody will also become the default player for all major audio files formats, including RealAudio, Windows Media Audio, AAC, and MP3
“We’re pleased to be working with HP to deliver Rhapsody via their new consumer notebook and desktop PC lines,” said Dan Sheeran, Senior Vice President of the Music and Video Division at RealNetworks. “This new agreement will enable a much wider audience of consumers to experience Rhapsody and use it to manage their personal digital music collections. We’re pleased to bring Rhapsody to HP and a growing list of leading companies like Comcast, Cox, and Sprint.”
“HP is committed to bringing consumers the best PC entertainment experience,” said Bob Lund, general manager, worldwide beyond the box team, Personal Systems Group at HP. “We selected Rhapsody because we want to give our customers a compelling choice for their music management software and easy access to a leading subscription music experience on the Web.”
In addition to Rhapsody’s free music management software, new HP PC customers will have access to the Rhapsody service, which lets anyone listen to and legally share songs of their choosing. Consumers can listen to 25 full tracks from Rhapsody’s extensive music library for free each month, and enjoy unlimited access to the software’s other features at no cost. Consumers can also access Rhapsody’s integrated music download store to purchase their favorite songs and albums; songs are 99 cents each and most albums are $9.99. Downloads purchased from Rhapsody can be transferred to virtually any portable music player, including Apple’s iPod line.
For those looking for an even richer music experience, users can easily upgrade to Rhapsody Unlimited ($9.99 per month), stream an unlimited amount of music, and also download an unlimited number of songs to their PC’s hard drive to enjoy offline for as long as they remain subscribers. Rhapsody Unlimited subscribers can also create custom internet radio stations based on their favorite artists, access thousands of artist-based radio stations or nearly 100 pre-programmed Internet radio stations, and view more than 1,500 music videos within the application. Additionally, consumers may subscribe to Rhapsody To Go ($14.99 per month) and enjoy all the benefits of Rhapsody Unlimited with the added capability of taking their favorite music with them on a compatible portable music player.
Starting in spring 2006, RealNetworks and HP plan to offer a 30-day free trial of the Rhapsody Unlimited service to consumers who purchase new HP and Compaq consumer notebook and desktop PCs.
Since launching in 2001, Rhapsody has received multiple industry awards and honors. Last month PC Magazine honored the service with a Best of 2005 Award, naming Rhapsody “Best Music-Streaming Service,” the latest in a string of honors for Rhapsody. In March 2005, PC World awarded Rhapsody its coveted Best Buy Award, and in 2004, Rhapsody was recognized as the ’Best Downloadable or Subscription Music Service’ in the Billboard Digital Entertainment Awards.
ABOUT REALNETWORKS, INC.
RealNetworks, Inc. is the leading creator of digital media services and software including the Rhapsody service, the RealPlayer® 10 music player, and casual PC games. RealNetworks has more than 2.2 million paid subscribers to its premium digital media services. 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
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