RealNetworks Invests in Listen.com: Online music company Listen.com has received a minority strategic investment from RealNetworks. RealNetworks is also a 40 percent owner in MusicNet, a music subscription technology service that competes with Listen.com, but has been stung by poor reviews of the underlying technology of its music service. Listen.com, meanwhile, has won kudos from reviewers and ISP distribution partners.
As part of Wednesday’s deal, Listen said it would shift the foundation for its Rhapsody music subscription service to RealNetworks’ audio technology. Previously the service had been based on Microsoft’s Windows Media technology.
This investment sustain Listen.com as it waits for paid services to take hold, according to another story in Mercury News…As evidence of just how difficult it is to attract subscribers, Listen.com recently launched a six-week promotion with Internet portal Terra-Lycos to sell downloadable music tracks at 49 cents — below its own cost.