MTV & RealNetworks In Talks To Give Rhapsody More Autonomy …Or Is This A Cut And Run?
According to SEC filings by RealNetworks, they are in negotiations with MTV to change their partnership in the Rhapsody Music service and perhaps give it more operating autonomy.
Two years after founding the joint company, the partners may reduce Real's 51% share in Rhapsody so that both parties own 50% or less of the digital music service. According to the filing, the goal of the negotiations is to "enable Rhapsody to operate more independently of either party."
Even with MTV's $230 million investment in Rhapsody, the music subscription and download service has failed to gain real traction. And now competitors like Napster, MOG and perhaps Rdio and Spotify are or will soon be offering stiff competition at lower price points.