You can't blame RealNetworks
Its first partner is SanDisk
You can't help but laugh a little at this latest move. RealNetworks feels like an empty nightclub, installing a velvet rope in a sad attempt to appear selective and popular. Of course, with Apple commanding better than 75% of the domestic market, competing does tend to feel futile.
However, there is an interesting wrinkle here. Rhapsody is an unlimited music service, giving subscribers a digital streaming buffet as long as they remain active members. Apple only sells music a la carte. RealNetworks will preload the SanDisk e200 product line with nearly 32 hours of music in all genres, creating a compelling attack strategy. Of course listeners have unique tastes and love to craft their own mix tapes. But with Apple charging $0.99 a track, the value proposition is going to shine kindly on the SanDisk players.
The move won't topple Apple. Even Microsoft's
Companies like RealNetworks and Napster
So maybe the playing field is a little jammed at the moment, but what's music without a good jam every now and then?
Microsoft is an Inside Value newsletter service recommendation.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't a subscriber to any digital music service, even though he does have satellite radio. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.