We got a few minutes to chat (once again) with Real's Rob Glaser today, who was kind enough to answer a few lingering questions about Real's freshly announced music alliance with MTV and Verizon called Rhapsody America.
- On Urge and integrating with Rhapsody, "The Urge brand will be retired... but we wanted to be welcoming and loving to existing Urge subscribers" who are now making the migration to Rhapsody.
- On Rhapsody and MTV's strange bedfellows partnership: "Philosophically we have very similar views...", Real intends to leverage "MTV's expertise in genres and content curation", but technologically Real's Rhapsody platform will continue to be what the venture builds off.
- For example, one unannounced iteration of that integration would be with "MTV's Top 20 video countdown -- you'll be able to see the countdown and get music directly in Rhapsody."
- On PlaysForSure: "PFS is a legacy system that Microsoft abandoned when they went to Zune." With the Clix2 Rhapsody, Real and iRiver "picked up the mantle of innovation that MS chose to abandon."
- Will real continue to support PFS? "Yes, as long as there is a high volume of devices and we can extend them, we see no reason to stop supporting the legacy architecture."
- On DRM-free music sales: "We think in the long term DRM-free music delivers the best consumer experience, solves the interoperability problem, and better connects with consumers psychologically." Damn skippy.