I caught up with Bob Kimball and Peter Kellogg-Smith, respectively the chief executive and VP of emerging products at RealNetworks, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Like most people, I knew Real mostly from their media player and their former subsidiary Rhapsody (they still own 47 percent of that business), but I must admit I was only vaguely familiar with their other activities.
Kimball pointed out to me that the media player currently represents merely 10 percent of Real’s business, with the majority of revenues actually coming from products and services it provides to mobile operators worldwide and its booming casual gaming operations (already a $111 million business and growing).
At the Congress, the company, which significantly downscaled operations last year, previewed its new digital media management service Unifi. It hasn’t publicly launched yet, so I won’t elaborate too much about it, but suffice to say I think it could easily become a great, popular product, if they can get the pricing right.
Expect a full review of Unifi as soon as it launches.
RealNetworks delivers digital entertainment services to consumers via PC, portable music player, home entertainment system or mobile phone. Real created the streaming media category in 1995. Its products and services include: RealPlayer, the first mainstream media player to enable one-click downloading and recording of Internet video; the Rhapsody digital music service, which delivers more than 1 billion songs per year; RealArcade, one of the largest casual games destinations on the Web; and a variety of mobile entertainment services, such...