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COMCAST GETS REAL ABOUT DIGITAL MUSIC

Partnership With Real’s Rhapsody Brings Music to 5 Million Broadband Users
RealNetworks has struck a chord with cable/broadband company Comcast to distribute and market Real's Rhapsody digital music subscription service. And if there’s one thing cable companies can deliver, it’s service.

Comcast users will get a free use of RealNetwork’s Rhapsody for seven days. That’s almost a whole week. After the period is up, each Comcast customer who signs up for the $9.95-per month service will get 10 free songs. 10 free songs!

For its part, Comcast will market and promote the service with a TV and online advertising campaign, and on the Comcast website. The company has 21 million cable subscribers and almost 5 million broadband internet customers.

The Rhapsody service differs from iTunes, Buymusic.com and other 99-cent per-song downloaders in that it offers streaming access to hundreds of thousands of songs on demand for the monthly fee, with the ability to burn tracks for 79 cents per song.

RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser is having a press conference at Nasdaq today to announce the deal.

Rhapsody previously inked a deal to sell the Rhapsody service at stores and on the retailer’s website.

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