I was reading TechCrunch and found this article interesting “Yahoo to Shut Premium Music Service, Redirect Users to Rhapsody”. At first Yahoo was thinking to shut its premium music service back in September 2007. They were planned to shift Yahoo Music Unlimited to the Rhapsody service. It would transfer customers to Rhapsody over the coming months, while allowing subscribers to access their music library from a new Rhapsody account. Yahoo Music Unlimited plans came in at between $5.99/ month and $8.99 /month, compared to Rhapsody’s $12.99/ month charge.

Recently they have said on Monday that Yahoo music service will be now handled by Rhapsody America, an on demand subscription service run by RealNetworks Inc and Viacom Inc. “This really works to make Rhapsody much more available to a much wider audience,” said Sheeran, a senior vice president at RealNetworks

The acquisition was acquired after announced Microsoft Corp made a $44.6 billion bid on Friday to take over Yahoo. As a result it raises a question that… whether RealNetworks and Yahoo will be able to execute their new partnership if Microsoft succeeds in buying Yahoo. The reason is relationship between Microsoft and RealNetwroks were locked in a bitter and stretched anti-trust difference of opinion for eight years until Microsoft agreed to settle with RealNetworks for $761 million in October 2005. Also RealNetworks founder and chief executive Rob Glaser, is a previous Microsoft executive. Furthermore, Microsoft already has developed huge choices of digital music products and services, which include an online music store and its Zune digital media players.

Yahoo will now focus on ad-supported streaming music and music videos. RealNetworks and Verizon Communization planned to create a digital music service called Rhapsody America, which would be able to compete with Apple Inc’s successful iTunes Online Store.