Yahoo terminates its premium music service

Last month, we covered rumors suggesting that Yahoo planned to breathe some life into its Yahoo Music Unlimited service by offering unprotected MP3 files. However, as the Associated Press reports, the likelihood of this prediction ever coming true has shrunk dramatically: Yahoo has announced that it plans to close down its music subscription service for good.

The move comes as part of Yahoo's re-focusing efforts, which were triggered by its poor financial performance and have already resulted in 1,000 layoffs. The Yahoo Music Unlimited service is the latest casualty, as Yahoo now wants to shift its focus to free and ad-supported music content and "other media offerings."

Existing Yahoo Music Unlimited customers won't have to pick up their stuff and go shop elsewhere, though. Yahoo has partnered with Real Networks in order to shift its customers to the Rhapsody service some time in the first half of this year. Users will be able to access Rhapsody content from the Yahoo portal at the same fees as on Yahoo Music Unlimited. However, after a certain time, users will have to start paying for Rhapsody's regular subscriptions, which start at $12.99 per month—pricier than Yahoo's current $5.99-$8.99 monthly fees.

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