RealNetworks has created a Rhapsody-branded mobile radio service that wireless operator Sprint Nextel has added to its suite of streaming radio services.

RealNetworks has created a Rhapsody-branded mobile radio service that wireless operator Sprint Nextel has added to its suite of streaming radio services.

Rhapsody selected about five stations from its existing online subscription-based Rhapsody Radio service to make available for wireless users. It also added a custom channel called Beats N Breaks, which features background music designed for listeners to rap over like a mobile beatbox.

The service is limited to Sprint's Vision multimedia phones for $7 a month, with no discount given to existing Rhapsody subscribers.

According to Kevin Nakao, mobile GM for RealNetworks, the Sprint deal is designed to expose the Rhapsody brand and service to newer users, particularly a younger audience. "Their network allows us to reach a lot of people," he says. "There's a broadcast decision to reach the most amount of people with this service."

The mobile Rhapsody service is not exclusive to Sprint. Nakao gave no indication as to when a wireless extension to Rhapsody's on-demand music download service might be available, but he did indicate a desire in establishing such a capability and said this service gives the company a foothold in the emerging wireless market.