Listen.com? today announced the launch of Rhapsody(TM), a new digital music subscription service that gives consumers unrestricted freedom to listen to and interact with music online. Starting today, listeners can subscribe to Rhapsody or sign up for a free three-day trial via the Listen.com Web site (www.listen.com).
Rhapsody, the first of a new wave of legitimate digital music subscription services launching this fall, builds on Listen.com's expertise in delivering online music services and music-related content to businesses and consumers. Rhapsody is a streaming service that integrates a number of popular music services and features within one easy-to-use environment. Once the Rhapsody application is installed, consumers can use Rhapsody for:
-- Unlimited streaming on-demand playback for a flat monthly fee
-- Free, unlimited Internet radio with access to more than 50 professionally programmed stations
-- Free access to Listen.com's expert editorial reviews, "Hit Kits"
-- Playlist creation and playlist sharing
Rhapsody provides users with a simple, easy-to-use interface that gives consumers free rein to listen to and enjoy online music. Instead of confining consumers to a set number of songs per month or offering songs that "time out'' after set periods of time, Rhapsody gives consumers open access to the music they love. Listen.com's patent-pending, bandwidth efficient technology provides exceptional 128 kbps playback quality and high fidelity streaming Internet radio. Rhapsody is optimized for broadband connection speeds and will also support users with dial-up connections.
Rhapsody offers access to a growing library of digital music, drawing on Listen.com's initial licensing agreements with 37 independent record labels and an additional nine announced today. These include 26.2 Music, Ark 21 Records, Eroica Classical Recordings, GNP Crescendo Records, JamDown Records, Jazzateria, LoveCat Records, Slimstyle Records, and Tinder Records. As Listen.com secures additional major label and independent label content licensing agreements in the coming months, this body of music will expand and Listen.com will increase its offering of genre-based catalogs.
Rhapsody's initial catalog offering gives consumers several subscription options to choose from, including:
?"Naxos Classical'': The Naxos Classical catalog ($5.95/month) will give subscribers access to a wide-ranging selection of classical music from the Naxos label. Naxos' repertoire includes the world's largest library of independent classical music recordings.
?"Sampler'': Rhapsody's "Sampler'' catalog ($5.95/month) will give subscribers access to an eclectic sampling of music from a range of genres, including blues, rock, country and electronica.
?"Sampler Plus'': Rhapsody's "Sampler Plus'' catalog ($7.95/month) gives consumers an "all-access'' alternative that combines the two catalogs into a single subscription offering.
Rhapsody is a private label service that will allow broadband and Internet service providers, Web portals and other digital outlets to reach consumers with compelling, co-branded music subscription services.
Listen.com's initial distribution partners -- including Seattle-based broadband service provider Speakeasy.net and independent classical music label Naxos of America -- will also launch and market their co-branded versions of the Rhapsody service in the near future.
"In launching Rhapsody, Listen.com has successfully completed its transformation into a music delivery company,'' said Sean Ryan, president and chief executive officer of Listen.com. "Rhapsody embodies the same vision for digital music that has been the foundation of our company since its inception -- provide compelling products that make it easier for businesses and consumers to find and enjoy music. We're living proof that digital music still has a pulse.''
Listen.com is a music service provider that creates, bundles and distributes world-class music content and media delivery applications online. Listen.com's core product is Rhapsody, an interactive digital music subscription service powered by the company's patent-pending media delivery technology. Rhapsody integrates streaming music-on-demand with free Internet radio, and extensive editorial reviews and recommendations.
Listen.com will license its applications to distribution partners seeking to offer co-branded music subscription services, both today on the desktop and extending to wireless and Net-attached devices in the future.
Listen.com has financial backing from all five major record labels and a number of top-tier venture capital firms and CEOs. Founded in 1998, the company is based in San Francisco. Visit www.listen.com for more information.
NOTE: Listen.com and the Listen.com logo are registered trademarks of Listen.com, Inc. Rhapsody is a trademark of Listen.com, Inc. All other company names are the property of their respective owners.