RealNetworks to spin off Rhapsody, give up control

Seems like times are tough in the streaming music game -- Warner is making noise about dropping free streaming rights to its catalog, and now RealNetworks and Viacom have announced plans to spin off the Rhapsody subscription service. The new company will obviously be known as Rhapsody, and both Real and Viacom will hold a sub-50 percent stake in the outfit and remain on the board of directors. Real's also contributing $18m in cash to the cause, while Viacom's committed to providing $33m in advertising -- we'll see if Rhapsody can make it on its own once that all runs out.