CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — RealNetworks has it added 100,000 paying subscribers for its premium digital music services during the company's fiscal first quarter (ended March 31, 2004), pushing the total subscription count for its music services beyond 450,000. This is the second consecutive quarter the company has added 100,000 subscribers for its digital music services, including Rhapsody and RadioPass. Overall, the subscriber base for these services has grown by 80% since the end of Q3 2003.
Rhapsody's Internet jukebox service increased again in March, when subscribers streamed more than 56 million songs on-demand — a rate of more than 1.8 million songs a day, and an increase of more than 16% over usage during February. This is the tenth consecutive month of double-digit growth in consumer usage of Rhapsody.
"Today's news is music to everyone's ears," said Rob Glaser, founder and chief executive officer, RealNetworks. "We're signing up thousands of new music subscribers every week, fans are streaming more music than ever through our online services, and Real has a commanding lead in the music subscription market."
RealNetworks' digital music subscription services include RadioPass, a commercial free Internet radio service, and Rhapsody. For $9.95 per month, Rhapsody delivers unlimited access to a broad library of major and independent label music, with more than 625,000 songs available for on-demand streaming and more than 550,000 songs available for purchase at the industry-low price of 79¢ per song. In addition to streaming any of the music as much as they want, Rhapsody subscribers can burn full albums or custom mix CDs, build their own custom Internet radio stations, listen to professionally programmed, commercial-free stations, and browse extensive music information and editorial recommendations to help them find more of the music they like. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen