RealNetworks and AOL will announce today a deal to use Real’s technology for the Internet giant’s interactive and streaming-video advertising and for delivering entertainment, particularly through AOL’s high-speed broadband service.
Announcement is a big win for Real, coming on the heels of its Sept. 4 announcement that Yahoo!, the other big online entertainment company, had more than doubled the number of Real systems it employs to stream audio and video over the Internet.
“This shows an expansion and a deepening of Real’s relationship with AOL,” said Larry Jacobson, Real’s chief operating officer and prexy.
AOL will use Real’s Helix Universal Servers to send interactive and streaming-video ads over the Internet, an approach that is particularly attractive to advertisers trying to reach and engage AOL broadband users. AOL also will integrate Real’s latest media player, RealVideo 9, in its upcoming update, AOL version 8.0, putting the player before 35 million subscribers when transmitting material from the many movie, TV and music creators who are part of the AOL Time Warner empire.
“Rich streaming-media content is particularly effective for interactive marketing, and we look forward to expanding our offerings in this area,” said Marty Fisher, prexy of AOL technology development.
The Helix technology’s most notable feature has been its ability to play digital material encoded in any of dozens of formats, including Microsoft Windows Media Player and Apple’s QuickTime, Real’s two biggest competitors. Real also has pointed to tests by outside firm KeyLabs that said the Helix software can provide streams to 10,000 viewers at a time, double its predecessor’s capacity.