Comcast Adds RealNetworks’ Internet Radio

LOS ANGELES To further enhance its broadband services, Comcast said it has reached an agreement with RealNetworks to provide its 6.5 million high-speed Internet customers with access to Rhapsody RadioPlus, RealNetworks’ subscription Internet radio service.

Comcast is expected to launch the new Rhapsody RadioPlus service in the first half of the year. Although Comcast would not reveal details, the cable provider is likely to provide Internet customers some basic Rhapsody services free of charge and offer the full premium package at a discount.

The deal could help boost the number of subscribers to Rhapsody, which had more than 625,000 paying subscribers by the end of the third quarter last year.

Similar to satellite radio, Rhapsody offers more than 90 radio channels, more than 30,0000 artist-based channels and the ability to build custom radio channels, for a $9.95 monthly fee.