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Summary:

Hands up — who wants a music subscription service on their Apple iPhone? OK, I just put both hands up and everyone in the Starbucks is wondering where the invisible mugger is behind me. ;) The industry has long pondered Apple jumping into the music subscription […]

rhapsody-iphone

Hands up — who wants a music subscription service on their Apple iPhone? OK, I just put both hands up and everyone in the Starbucks is wondering where the invisible mugger is behind me. ;) The industry has long pondered Apple jumping into the music subscription market, but it hasn’t happened yet. So Rhapsody is attempting to make the leap, since Apple hasn’t.

The company just submitted an iPhone version of their music subscription service to Apple’s iTunes App Store and at first glance you might think it doesn’t stand a chance to get approved. But I see at least two reasons why it will get approved.

First of all, both Slacker and Pandora already have applications in the App Store. Like Rhapsody, these services offer streaming music direct to your handset. The main difference is that both Slacker and Pandora do so for free — Rhapsody offers their “to go” service for $14.95 a month. That might be considered an issue since Rhapsody would make money on the iPhone while Slacker and Pandora don’t. But that leads into the second reason why I think Rhapsody will find approval.

If you hear a song you like on Rhapsody and want to buy a licensed copy of it from your iPhone, Rhapsody offers a “Buy on iTunes” feature, which puts more cash in Apple’s coffers. I caught a quick glimpse of the link in this video demo of the Rhapsody iPhone application.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=6239850&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

I didn’t see a purchase link to any other music store, so it looks like Rhapsody conceded their own MP3 music store to Apple’s in the software. Why do that? It offers the application a much better chance of getting approved and it opens up the tens of millions of iPhone owners to plunking down $14.99 a month for a Rhapsody music subscription. Sounds like a win-win to me.

  1. There’s also the anti-trust issue…

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  2. I have a Rhapsody account because I like to try out lots of different music and have no problem with a subscription model. And, I also have an iPod Touch. It would be great if I could use the Touch as a Rhapsody device. Unless Apple wants to offer subscriptions in iTunes? But, I am not holding my breath on the latter happening anytime soon.

    –Ken

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  3. Ken – the application we submitted for approval will also work w/ the iPod Touch.

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  4. I have Pandora, Last.fm, Slacker, and there is even Sirius for the iPhone, so who cares about Rhapsody at $14.99 per month. Even it it gets approved, I bet it will not be that popular.

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  5. Rhapsody is very different than Pandora, Last.fm, and even Sirius. With Rhapsody, you get to choose a particular album or song, not just a general category of music. You want to listen to the new Kings of Leon album – no problem. Try that on any of the other services.

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  6. I’m a Rhapsody subscriber, and I also use Pandora on my iPhone. Rhapsody offers much, much, MUCH more than Pandora. If a Rhapsody app is approved for the iPhone, my mobile life will be complete. :)

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  7. For me, the lack of a music suscription service is the only thing holding me back from the switch to iPhone (well that and I enjoy hacking into my WinMo phone, even though my HTC Fuze is a horrible brick of a phone). I currently subscribe to Napster to Go and i just doesn’t work for me to have to buy each track, or download them illegally at the risk of viruses and other ramifications. Rhapsody and Napster costs the same, and even though I’ve amassed thousands of songs in my Napster library, if this app were approved, I’d have no problem switching. Good luck.

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