RealNetworks Showcases Its "Entertainment As A Service" Strategy at CES 2008

Monday, January 7th, 2008 
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Highlights portfolio of music, video and games offerings and new CE partnerships that allow consumers to enjoy digital entertainment wherever and whenever they want

LAS VEGAS — This week at the Consumer Electronics Show, digital entertainment services company RealNetworks® Inc. is showcasing music, video and games offerings across a full range of CE products for the digital living room and on the go. Real will be highlighting new consumer electronics products and partnerships at its booth (south hall upstairs #36200) for its award-winning Rhapsody® digital music service, demonstrating the breadth of its home video offerings and showing casual games that can be played on multiple platforms. As part of its Entertainment-as-a-Service strategy, Real aims to make it easy to access music, video or games wherever and whenever a consumer wants to access them.

MUSIC

Rhapsody, the digital music service Real operates in partnership with MTV Networks, is strengthening its ecosystem through alliances with top consumer electronics makers to bring new Rhapsody-optimized personal media players and in-home digital audio systems to market in 2008. The strong relationships between Real and these CE manufacturers further bolster Rhapsody as the leading digital music service. Since CES 2007, Real has expanded Rhapsody’s beyond-the-PC experience, with new Rhapsody-enhanced portable players from iriver and Haier America and through in-home devices like Logitech’s Squeezebox, Denon’s S-32/52 tabletop radios and most recently through a deep integration with TiVo’s broadband connected set top boxes.

The partnerships and new devices announced today — including deals with Philips and Control4, and new devices from iriver, Denon and Logitech — combine the unparalleled Rhapsody music experience with top-of-the-line a/v receivers, new Wi-Fi enabled portable media players and, for the first time, sophisticated home automation solutions.

“With dozens of Rhapsody-enhanced devices already available, and new products from Philips, Denon, Control4 and more coming to market this year, we’re delivering digital music to consumers in more ways than ever,” said Rob Williams, SVP of music software for RealNetworks.

  • Philips Electronics announced that it will launch its entire line of GoGear portable media players integrated with Rhapsody, delivering a superior digital music experience with artist biographies, album art, the ability to rate songs, tag them for saving or for later purchase — all on the portable player. The first Rhapsody-enhanced Philips GoGear media player is expected in the first half of 2008.
  • Philips also announced the Rhapsody-optimized Streamium home audio product line, which frees consumers from the PC and cumbersome wired connections by delivering access to Rhapsody’s catalog of millions of songs directly to their home stereo systems over a Wi-Fi network. The Streamium NP1100, the first device in the line to launch, features a built-in PC Link, a black and white display, Internet radio connectivity and streaming from other PCs on the same Wi-Fi network. The NP1100 is expected to be available to consumers in the first half of 2008 with a MSRP of $149.
  • Following the successful launch of the iriver clix Rhapsody portable media player in 2007, Rhapsody and iriver will introduce the iriver w10 Wi-Fi enabled portable media player to the US market in the first half of 2008. The Rhapsody-enhanced w10 portable media player can be refreshed with new music from the Rhapsody service over any available Wi-Fi network, giving consumers access to over 4.5 million songs nearly anywhere they go.
  • Control4, the leaders in affordable home automation systems, will make Rhapsody available to consumers via their home entertainment automation installations. In a first for any digital music service, the Rhapsody/Control4 integration will give consumers the ability to use their home automation system to direct music from Rhapsody’s catalog to any room in the home through a simple touch screen remote. Rhapsody-enhanced Control4 systems are expected to be available in the first half of 2008.

VIDEO

Drawing on its heritage as a pioneer in Internet video, Real is showcasing the depth and breadth of its video portfolio, including the new RealPlayer®, as well as new home a/v devices based on Real’s technology.

RealPlayer 11, which launched to critical acclaim in November, gives consumers the ability to easily download millions of videos from thousands of sites across the Web with one click, and then view them later — on or off the PC. Consumers can use the one-click download functionality to view Web video offline on their PC or with RealPlayer Plus transfer video to popular portable media players like the Apple iPod.

Real will demonstrate new digital media devices now shipping from more than 100 new device partners that joined its Helix™ Community last year to integrate the Helix DNA Client and support the RealAudio® and RealVideo® formats, including portable media players from Aigo, Skyworth’s new LCD TV line capable of displaying RealVideo files up to HD resolutions, semiconductor products from AMLogic, Chips & Media, and Analog Devices, Internet radio devices from Reciva, Frontier Silicon, CSR, and the unique One Laptop Per Child XO. Real has also enabled digital media playback for the top five handset manufacturers worldwide, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson, which have collectively shipped more than 200 million Helix DNA Client and Real format enabled devices.

“RealPlayer is already one of the most popular media players for PCs and Macs, and now Real technology is powering a new range of CE devices in the living room and on mobile handsets,” said Harold Zeitz, SVP of media software & services for RealNetworks.

GAMES

As the leader in the rapidly growing Casual Games space, Real will be displaying some of its most popular titles that are available on PC, mobile handsets, Sony’s PSP and Nintendo’s DS. The casual games division at Real experiences PC downloads of more than 750,000 games per day worldwide. The off-PC side of the Games business (mobile phone, handheld and console) has published 40 titles to date.

Two recent mobile games, Collapse! Chaos, based on the company’s popular Collapse! franchise and MTV Cribs, based on the hit television series, will be featured at CES, along with Super Collapse! on the PC, PSP and DS.

“Real is responding to the rapidly changing demands of its gamers to be able to play whenever and wherever they go,” said Matt Turetzky, vice president, Mobile and New Platforms for Real Games. “With its global success on the PC, Real plans to offer even more of its most popular games to mobile and console gamers in 2008. Casual games on mobile devices are the perfect evolution – a quick opportunity to have fun on the device you carry with you everywhere.”

Find RealNetworks at Booth 36200 upstairs in the south hall.