Yahoo! Music Unlimited shuttered -- customers feel the Rhapsody

Yahoo! Music Unlimited (and its customers) is the latest victim of the digital media shakeout. However, unlike the shutdown of Sony's Connect service which left customers stranded with DRM-laden tracks, Yahoo has struck a deal to send its existing subscription customers to the PlaysForSure-friendly Rhapsody music service from RealNetworks. The shift will occur sometime in "the first half" of 2008 and leave Yahoo Music Unlimited's payment plans and music libraries in tact for customers "for a limited time." Eventually, Yahoo's legacy customers will be required to sign up at Rhapsody's relatively higher rates of $12.99 per month (Yahoo charged $8.99 per month or as little as $5.99 per month for a year paid in full). So, do you still think that the subscription model is a good thing? Just wait, the shake-out has only begun.

Update: To be clear, Yahoo Music will continue to offer streaming audio, music videos, web radio and other advertising-supported music offerings while integrating Rhapsody into its online portal. Only the subscription service is being shut down.