People don't want to rent music.
That's always been the knock on subscription music services. But Rhapsody, which was acquired in 2003 by then RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser (at left), has argued for a decade that if consumers were offered a huge selection of songs, they would gladly pay a small monthly fee for access. Wrong. The public has stayed away in droves.
Now, with cloud-music services from Google, Apple and others expected to adopt this subscription-business model, the market at long last is supposedly ready to catch up to Rhapsody. The Justin Timberlake line "this is our time" should be Rhapsody's tagline.
Still, if subscription is the future, it's hard to tell from Rhapsody's numbers. In January, the company reported 750,000 paying subscribers.
By contrast, Spotify, a European music service launched in 2008 that uses a subscription model, already has 1 million paying subscribers.
May 27, 2011 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Greg Sandoval/CNET
| Caption by: Greg Sandoval
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