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TiVo, Rhapsody Strike Deal

10/09/2007 09:24:00 AM Eastern

Alviso, Calif. — TiVo customers can now access Rhapsody’s digital music service, a joint venture between RealNetworks and Viacom’s MTV Networks, via any broadband-connected TiVo device.

Beginning today, TiVo subscribers can search for and play any of the 4 million-plus songs in Rhapsody’s music catalog directly through their broadband-connected TiVos using Rhapsody’s new predictive search feature. Users can also browse charts of Rhapsody’s most popular artists, albums and songs; view weekly lists of new releases; or listen to thousands of radio channels.

Consumers who rate their music using the “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” buttons on the TiVo remote can help Rhapsody to provide them with music recommendations based on their ratings, personal music tastes and listening history.

“By adding the music piece to the puzzle of our broadband offerings, TiVo truly has become the only universal entertainment provider in the living room,” said Tom Rogers, CEO and president of TiVo, in a release.

Rob Williams, SVP of music products for RealNetworks told TWICE the he views the partnership both as an opportunity to provide new services to Rhapsody’s existing subscriber base and as a great way to drive new business because he sees a “really strong overlap between TiVo users and our users… they’re the same sorts of people.”

According to a release, TiVo subscribers will have access to a free 30-day trial of Rhapsody. They can then choose to continue their Rhapsody service beyond the trial period for $12.99 per month. Also, current Rhapsody subscribers with broadband connected TiVos can now access their existing Rhapsody music libraries via their TV and no extra charge. The company’s suggest these users visit www.tivo.com/rhapsody to sign up for a priority list in order to ensure that the Rhapsody update is delivered to their TiVo boxes as soon as possible.

The Rhapsody service has also recently been made available through other CE products like the Sonos system and Logitech’s Squeezebox digital music player. According to Williams, Rhapsody expects to announce more partnerships with makers of home audio-related products “over the next year.”