RealNetworks Inc. is merging its 'RealPlayer' video and 'RealJukebox'
audio players into one streaming device, 'RealOne,' for use by narrowband and
broadband Internet users.
RNI also disclosed a list of 150 hardware and content companies, including
many cable networks, which are supporting RealOne.
'The RealOne platform will empower our partners to create a new generation of
digital-media business,' RNI chairman and CEO Rob Glaser said at a
company-sponsored conference Monday.
By combining RNI's separate audio- and video-streaming players in one device,
Glaser hopes to accelerate its push into subscription services, including music
and movie downloads. 'We're building an integrated premium-content delivery
platform,' he said.
Glaser said RNI's $9.95-per-month 'GoldPass' service now reaches 400,000
subscribers. Content includes audiocasts of Major League Baseball, the National
Basketball Association and dozens of radio stations.
Later this year, RNI will launch 'MusicNet,' a subscription-music service in
partnership with AOL Time Warner Inc., EMI Group and Bertlesmann AG's BGE
'All of the stars are aligning to create an ecosystem around premium
services,' he said.
Content partners backing RealOne include Discovery
Channel, E! Networks' E! Online, Oxygen Media, Starz Encore Group LLC, The
Weather Channel, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures
Entertainment and Universal Music Group.