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Yahoo Bails On Music Service, Moves to Rhapsody
Monday, February 4th, 2008 at 9:05 AM - by
Yahoo is closing down its online music rental service, Yahoo Music Unlimited, but current customers won't be left high and dry. Instead, Yahoo struck a deal with RealNetworks that transitions YMU subscribers to the Rhapsody music rental service.
The YMU shutdown and Rhapsody migration is expected to happen in the first half of 2008. YMU customers will be able to keep their current subscription libraries and payment plans for a limited time, but Yahoo and RealNetworks aren't saying just how long that limited window will last -- which means that eventually YMU subscribers will either have to pay the higher rates that Rhapsody charges, or lose their rented music libraries.
While the Yahoo Music Unlimited shutdown will likely leave many disappointed subscribers in its wake, it doesn't hold the sting of the Sony Connect music rental shut down where customers were left with unplayable DRM-laden tracks.
This latest subscription service shutdown isn't likely to help bolster the record label's stance that music rental models are better than music purchase models like Apple's iTunes Store. Until the labels can convince customers that they don't really want to own the music they listen to the ongoing start-up/merger/shut-down subscription music service cycle will continue unchecked.
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