Rhapsody becomes independent and slashes prices

Celebrating its spinoff from Viacom and RealNetworks, the now independent online Rhapsody music service has slashed its monthly subscription to $10 per month.

The $5 price cut is an added bonus to try and convince consumers to test the service that started to struggle in mid-2009.  Rhapsody also hopes Apple iPhone owners and other mobile users who tested the service will begin paying for monthly access.

Streaming Rhapsody isn’t popular yet among iPhone owners, but as the speed of mobile connections increases higher, even more smartphone owners may turn to online music.  Apple purchased Lala and rumors flew around late last year that Apple was expected to launch a new cloud-based music service.

There are a wide variety of different services consumers can choose from, along with the people who continue to use peer-to-peer file sharing services to pirate music. Internet radio services such as Pandora remain popular among music listeners who want to stream music but don’t want to pay to download it.

Rhapsody started 2009 with upwards of 800,000 users, but lost around 125,000 by the end of the year.  The company hopes to prevent even more subscribers from jumping ship and a $5 subscription price cut may just be enough.

Moving forward in 2010, Rhapsody has received a fresh burst of financial support that will be funneled towards keeping current subscribers and attracting new clients.

RealNetworks forked over $18 million to Rhapsody, with Viacom offering a $33 million advertising credit on Viacom networks.  The Viacom deal gives Rhapsody the power to launch new marketing drives on MTV, VH1 and other Viacom-operated channels.

Are you interested in a $10 per month Rhapsody plan?