iLike Unveils Full Song Playback from Rhapsody

Dennis Faas's picture

The social music discovery service iLike has unveiled a new deal with Real Networks' Rhapsody digital music service. iLike users will now be able to listen to full-length song playbacks on their profiles, and on iLike's Facebook application.

There are limitations, however: iLike users will only be able to access unlimited playbacks if they are also a Rhapsody Unlimited member, otherwise users are limited to 25 playbacks per month (Rhapsody also offers a free account on its own site with the same limitations). After the limit is reached you can choose between signing up for your own Rhapsody account or making due with 30-second clips. (Source:

The playback service will pay royalties to the artist via Rhapsody's previous standing agreements, and iLike claims the deal is "the first widespread implementation of a scalable model to monetize the enormous potential for music consumption across social networks." Other new features for iLike include a new ad platform which the company claims will deliver relevant content to users, and the ability for iLike users to add playback applications to their own websites. (Source:

iLike functions as a social network for music lovers: users set up a profile, add friends, compare music and sample MP3s from emerging artists. The network claims it has over 30 million users, but considering that Facebook has well over 80 million users and is the fourth-most trafficked website in the world, iLike's audience is relatively small. Thus, the company's strategy relies on applications built for the more popular social networking sites, including Facebook, MySpace, hi5, and Orkut.

It will be interesting to see if social networks end up being a significant source of revenue for the reputedly beleagured music industry.

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