According to SEC filings by RealNetworks, they are in negotiations with MTV to change the terms of its partnership with the Rhapsody in a move that could give the floundering music service more operating autonomy. From the always wonderful hypebot:
Two years after founding the joint company, the partners may reduce Real’s 51% share in Rhapsody so that both parties own 50% or less of the digital music service. According to the filing, the goal of the negotiations is to “enable Rhapsody to operate more independently of either party.”
Even with MTV’s $230 million investment in Rhapsody, the music subscription and download service has failed to gain real traction. And now competitors like Napster, MOG and perhaps Rdio and Spotify are or will soon be offering stiff competition at lower price points.
Of course, some autonomy would have been nice when Rhapsody saw its New York office entirely closed last December, but being able to make smarter, faster, purely self-interested decisions as a smaller company could help the company who’s always seemed to be one step behind. Of course, if Apple ever really unveils a subscription service, everyone’s toast.