RCN Launches Music Service


RCN Corp. has launched a monthly subscription music service for cable-modem customers.

The cable overbuilder boasted that the “RCN Interaction Music” service, which will cost subscribers $7.95 monthly, undercuts the $9.95 monthly subscription fee that Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable and other operators charge for the Rhapsody online music service.

RCN director of Internet and phone-product management Elad Nafshi said RCN’s service offers users 700,000 songs from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Group, Warner Music, BMG and independent labels, compared to the 600,000 titles available on the subscription-music services of rivals Rhapsody and Napster.

Nafshi said RCN’s music service is also easier for its customers to order, since the company already has subscriber-billing information on file. New Rhapsody and Napster customers must supply credit-card information when they order service.

RCN said it will charge new subscribers to the music service $1 for the first 30 days, and $7.95 a month thereafter. Nafshi said the company is marketing the service to both existing cable-modem customers and nonsubscribers.