|Traded as||NASDAQ: RNWK|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, USA|
|Key people||Rob Glaser, Chairman and interim CEO
Tim Wan, CFO and Treasurer
Software as a Service
|Revenue||$402 Million USD (2010)|
|Net income||$5 Million USD (2010)|
RealNetworks, Inc. is a provider of Internet media delivery software and services based in Seattle, Washington, United States. The company is the creator of RealAudio, a compressed audio format; RealVideo, a compressed video format; RealPlayer, a media player; RealDownloader, a download manager; Unifi, a personal cloud media service; Rinse, a digital music library cleanup tool; and Helix, technology for delivering digital media to PCs, mobile phone and emerging devices. The company also manages subscription-based online entertainment services including SuperPass and GameHouse RealNetworks’ software as a service group also provides mobile entertainment and messaging services to mobile carriers.
RealNetworks (then known as Progressive Networks) was founded by an ex-Microsoft executive, Rob Glaser, in 1995. The original goal of the company was to provide a distribution channel for politically progressive content. It evolved into a technology venture to leverage the Internet as an alternative distribution medium for audio broadcasts. Progressive Networks became RealNetworks in September 1997.
RealNetworks were pioneers in the streaming media markets and broadcast one of the earlier audio events over the Internet - a baseball game between the Yankees and Seattle Mariners - on September 5th, 1995. They went on to launch the first streaming video technology in 1997. According to some accounts, by 2000, more than 85% of streaming content on the Internet was in the Real format.
Despite this success, problems arose because Real's primary business model depended upon the sale of streaming media server software, and Microsoft and Apple were giving those products away. As servers from Microsoft and Apple became more capable, Real's server sales inevitably eroded.
Music store 
In August 2003, RealNetworks acquired Listen.com's Rhapsody music service, and renamed it RealRhapsody (which includes Rhapsody Radish). It offers streaming music downloads for a monthly fee. On April 6, 2010, Rhapsody was spun off from RealNetworks.
In January 2004, RealNetworks announced that they are creating RealPlayer Music Store, featuring DRM-restricted music in the AAC file format. After some initial tries to push their own DRM scheme (named Helix DRM) onto all device manufacturers with the Creative Zen Xtra and the Sansa e200r as the only existing compliant devices, they sparked controversy by introducing a technology called Harmony that allowed their music to play on iPods as well as Microsoft Windows Media Audio DRM-equipped devices using a "wrapper" that would convert Helix DRM into the two other target DRM schemes.
Subscription services 
In 2000, one of the initial products, the download manager RealDownload, was already used for pushing small software, such as games, to subscribers' computers. On top of the subscription for RealDownload and using its RealVideo streaming technology, a service called GoldPass, including unlimited access for video snippets from ABC and movie previews, was offered to registered users for a $10 a month fee. More content was added through deals with CBS for the reality show Big Brother and NBA basketball.
After the dot-com crash, RealNetworks cut most of the resources. Some of the content was lost, some was limited to local markets (e.g., Ministry of Sound was available only to UK subscribers). With the increase in broadband usage, RealNetworks started offering live broadcasts of CNN International, BBC World, Al-Jazeera etc., separately for prices between $6 and $12, or bundled in the SuperPass for about $35 a month depending on the market. Between 2003 and 2006, SuperPass included, for European subscribers, unlimited access to UEFA Champions League full-length game recordings.
RealNetworks Vs. StreamBox 
On January 20, 2000, RealNetworks, Inc. filed an injunction against Streambox, Inc. regarding the aforementioned company's product designed to convert Real Audio (.rm) formatted files to other formats.
RealNetworks Vs. Microsoft 
On September 30, 2008, RealNetworks launched a new product called RealDVD. The software allows any user to save a copy of a DVD movie they own. The company was later found to have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and RealNetworks' contract with the DVD CCA, as the software also allowed anyone to save a movie they do not legally own. (See RealNetworks, Inc. v. DVD Copy Control Association, Inc.). The product's distribution was barred by a court injunction.
Real Alternative 
Real Alternative is a discontinued software bundle that allows users to play RealMedia files without installing RealPlayer. The last version, 2.02, was released on February 19, 2010. It included Media Player Classic.
Beginning in 2010, RealNetworks sued Hilbrand Edskes, a 26-year old Dutch webmaster for having inserted hyperlinks to Real Alternative on his website www.codecpack.nl. RealNetworks alleges that Real Alternative is a reverse engineered package. Meanwhile, Download.com and FileHippo continue to host the software product, unchallenged.
RealNetworks has its headquarters in Downtown Seattle, Washington, United States. The headquarters is located above Seattle's waterfront. In 2010 the company announced plans to sublease a portion of the headquarters.
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- Official website for RealPlayer
- RealNetworks Public Source License and other licenses for the Helix project
- Real Guide - RealNetworks Product List
- RealNetworks press release regarding Vorbis support (via WayBack Machine)
- Real to launch song store