Glaser to introduce product at Seattle Conference
HOLLYWOOD — RealNetworks is today expected to unveil RealOne, combining its GoldPass subscription service and its popular RealPlayer and RealJukebox programs, to simplify watching and listening to programming on the Internet.RealNetworks chairman and CEO Rob Glaser will introduce the new product, which streamlines its offerings, at the company’s annual two-day Real Conference in Seattle. Considering that RealOne is essentially GoldPass repackaged, the purpose of the new product is to push RealNetworks’ focus on subscriptions for Internet content and serve as a platform for the company to offer content creators rental, video-on-demand and pay-per-view distribution opportunities. RealNetworks’ online music subscription service MusicNet — a joint venture with record labels including BMG, Warner Music Group and EMI — is expected to become a major part of RealOne’s content. Other exclusive programming “channels” will also be offered from major entertainment brand partners, as well as 48 premium advertising-free radio stations. Company has already seen some success with the exclusive subscription-based Webcasts of CBS’ “Big Brother 2,” Major League Baseball game broadcasts and NBA.com TV, available through GoldPass. Real Networks said it had attracted 300,000 paying subscribers to the service between August 2000 and July 2001. Roughly 25,000 people signed up to view exclusive Internet broadcasts of “Big Brother 2″ hosted by RealNetworks and CBS. “We’ve been able to show that people have tested the waters and not fallen on their face,” Leslie Grandy, RealNetworks’ general manager of consumer marketing, told Daily Variety. “We’re proving that people are going to pay for content they want.” RealOne’s pricing structure will likely resemble that of GoldPass, which charges an initial $20 fee to sign up and an additional $10 a month. RealPlayer currently boasts over 220 million registered users, RealJukebox 65 million. Idea is to turn those Netizens into paying RealOne subscribers. RealOne, which gives its RealPlayer and RealJukebox software packages new designs and functionality, will initially be available to content creators, with the full consumer rollout skedded over the next two months.