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MTV dumps Urge, joins Real for digital music

updated 01:55 am EDT, Tue August 21, 2007

Real, MTV take on iTunes

Looking to reel in a chunk of the burgeoning but not-yet independently lucrative digital music download business, RealNetworks and Viacom's MTV division are teaming to deliver an online music sales venture that the companies hope will rival Apple's dominant iTunes store. Heralding the end of MTV's "Urge" digital music service, which was launched in tandem with Microsoft, the new store will be promoted heavily on MTV's television channels and apparently carry the same Rhapsody moniker that has been promulgated by RealNetworks. Rhapsody currently charges users a monthly fee starting at $13 to listen to an unlimited number of songs. Like other subscription services, when users stop paying their membership fee for Rhapsody, they can no longer to its stocked music.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Verizon Wireless will supply mobile distribution for the joint venture's content.

The service faces stiff competition from the deeply rooted and heavily trafficked iTunes Store. In Apple's most recent quarterly fiscal report, music-related sales accounted for 40 percent of the Cupertino-based company's total revenue during the quarter, surging 33 percent year-over-year thanks to strong iTunes Store sales. Research firm NPD also recently announced that the iTunes Store has become the third largest overall music retailer in the U.S. above Amazon and Target.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. jarod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005



    LOLOLOLOLLLLLLLLL! Guess the big monkey failed to eat his banana. Microdump. Even the losers don't want them anymore!

  1. chotty

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2003


    I have an "Urge"

    to venture a guess: Another Bomb in the making.

  1. horvatic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002


    A merge that will do noth

    A merge that will accomplish nothing. Renting music is a waste of money. People want to own there music and be able to listen to it anytime, anywhere they want. This will be another failure in the long list of subscription failure efforts which nobody wants in the first place. You end up spending more money every month on music you already have than if you were to buy it out right. Just another failure of a failure.

  1. rtbarry

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001



    I would love to read the original responses here when the URGE/MTV venture was first announced. I know what I predicted. Anyone find it?

    Same goes for this desparate last grab.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    Proof reader?

    Please, PLEASE! Work on that whole complete sentences thing, eh?

    "Like other subscription services, when users stop paying their membership fee for Rhapsody, they can no longer to its stocked music."

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    what's the point?

    maybe Real/MTV know something I don't, but really, how much money is there to be made in selling music online? Only for the artists and labels, after all iTunes is just something Apple uses to sell iPods. So what's in it for Real or MTV?

    (speaking of a couple of has-beens...)

  1. ethical_paul

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2002


    Uncontrollable Urge... not care

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