Rhapsody is rolling out a new slate of social features today, including the ability for users to create profile pages, share playlists on social networks, follow other Rhapsody members and find out what their Facebook friends are listening to, whether or not those friends are using the music service.

The upgrade in the Seattle company’s web experience comes amid increasing competition from socially powered music services. Spotify made a splash with its U.S. launch in July, and Facebook itself is reported to be launching a music platform in partnership with Spotify, MOG and Rdio.

Rhapsody, which has more than 800,000 paying subscribers, is rolling out the features as a way for its users to discover new music by seeing what their friends listen to. The company has been developing and testing the new social features for some time, and sees them as the logical next step for the service, said Mark Keeney, Rhapsody’s marketing VP.

“It’s a natural progression,” Keeney said.

Rhapsody is using the Facebook Connect technology to tap into the social network, including the ability to see the music section of their friends’ Facebook profiles, and then play that content on Rhapsody.

Facebook “Like” buttons now appear throughout the Rhapsody web interface, including artist and album pages, showing up in users’ Facebook news feeds when they click. Those users’ Facebook friends will have the option to sample the track in Rhapsody or sign up for a trial of the service if they’re not members.

User profile pages in Rhapsody automatically populate with information such as the latest songs they’ve been listening to, and the artists they listen to most. A “My Radio” feature will let members hear a stream of the latest songs a friend has been listening to.

Rhapsody is also working to extend the features to its mobile apps.

A former RealNetworks unit, Rhapsody spun off as an independent company last year. Its basic subscription service costs $10/month and includes access to more than 12 million songs.

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Comments

  • Jaggyjaggyjag

    Right on “Glaser time”. As usual, too little too late after a huge lead and first to market advantage. Classic REAL.

    • Don Olson

      While Rhapsody may still have some old habits from the mother ship, they aren’t a part of Real anymore

    • Don Olson

      While Rhapsody may still have some old habits from the mother ship, they aren’t a part of Real anymore

  • Buffering

    Buffering…

  • Ritso

    RealNetworks is insane to sue over a hyperlink:

    http://news.techeye.net/internet/realnetworks-sues-over-hyperlink

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Rhapsody for socializing my music tastes! Now if only they could fix their pricing model. (Rhapsody costs at least $120 per year whereas Spotify is free of charge.)

    • Appetura

      YouTube kills RealPlayer.

      Spotify kills Rhapsody.

      RealNetworks kills someone with a hyperlink.

      What’s next?

    • Appetura

      YouTube kills RealPlayer.

      Spotify kills Rhapsody.

      RealNetworks kills someone with a hyperlink.

      What’s next?

      • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

        On the subject of Spotify, you’re jumping the gun a bit. Here are the U.S. subscription numbers as of last month …  http://www.geekwire.com/2011/spotify-rhapsody-rules-paid-music-subscriptions

        • Guest

          In “a few weeks” Spotify went from zero to having nearly 25% of Rhapsody’s numbers. Multiply that by four and they’ll have overtaken Rhapsody by Christmas.

          Spotify also has a free plan, something Rhapsody really needs to introduce if they don’t want to be flattened by their Swedish competition. I don’t listen to enough music to justify $120 a year for Rhapsody. Plus, those Nordic-accented promos for Spotify (“spawtify”) are just so endearing!

        • Guest

          In “a few weeks” Spotify went from zero to having nearly 25% of Rhapsody’s numbers. Multiply that by four and they’ll have overtaken Rhapsody by Christmas.

          Spotify also has a free plan, something Rhapsody really needs to introduce if they don’t want to be flattened by their Swedish competition. I don’t listen to enough music to justify $120 a year for Rhapsody. Plus, those Nordic-accented promos for Spotify (“spawtify”) are just so endearing!

        • Soze

          YouTube didn’t kill RealPlayer in a few weeks.

          Spotify doesn’t kills Rhapsody in a few weeks.

          But it’ll happen, you just need a little patience.

          • Guest

            I don’t really think it’s a matter of “killing” Rhapsody. Despite its 10 years of existence, Rhapsody has failed to maintain even 1 million subscribers. In that regard, Rhapsody is not yet alive.

            Spotify and other companies are creating the first truly compelling music streaming service. All Rhapsody can do is sip a latte and bemoan the fact that they were “first to market” as if that means anything.

    • Appetura

      YouTube kills RealPlayer.

      Spotify kills Rhapsody.

      RealNetworks kills someone with a hyperlink.

      What’s next?

    • Appetura

      YouTube kills RealPlayer.

      Spotify kills Rhapsody.

      RealNetworks kills someone with a hyperlink.

      What’s next?

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