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RealTime IT News

RealNetworks, Sumitomo to Develop Japanese Music Service

RealNetworks Inc. and Sumitomo Corp. Monday announced plans to establish an affiliated company to manage a music destination Web site for Japanese users.

This Web site will connect Japanese consumers to a large resource of music and artist information such as fan clubs, lyrics, album art, rankings, concert dates and other live appearances. The two firms plan to establish the new company and open the music destination site in February 2000. A preview of the new site can be seen at here.

This new Web site, which can be accessed directly through RealNetworks' (RNWK) RealPlayer and RealJukebox, will create an open community enabling consumers, music artists and e-tailers to connect with each other and share information as well as experience rich media programming.

For its contribution, Sumitomo Corp will bring its broadband infrastructure, including @Home Japan and Cross Beam Networks Japan, as well as its Internet portal, Lycos to this Web destination site. These properties will help to both drive traffic to this site and provide consumers with a high quality broadband Internet media experience.

This current business targets Japanese consumers, but there is the prospect of further expansion into countries in Asia that are familiar with Japanese culture, and there are future plans to expand beyond the music industry into the wider entertainment business including movies.