RealNetworks Links Content Providers With Consumers

RealNetworks Inc. Thursday announced two new ways for audio and video content providers to reach online consumers.

The first is an expanded version of the Message Service that will enable RealNetworks content providers to notify RealPlayer users on a daily basis about upcoming audio and video programming directly via the desktop.

The second service, called Connection, will give RealNetworks’ content providers the ability to make their programming more accessible from key Guide properties.

“These new services augment the Network’s already effective distribution vehicle for streaming and digital media,” said David Goldberg, chief executive officer of, and a participant in both of RealNetworks’ new offerings. “Combining’s broad range of content with RealNetworks’ suite of distribution services is great for our business and great for consumers, who will now get multiple avenues for accessing the music programming they want to experience.”

“Together, Connection and the new Message Service dramatically expand the power and diversity of the Network as a distribution platform,” said Mark Hall, RealNetworks’ vice president of media publishing. “They will allow us to offer consumers access to a richer, deeper and more personalized multimedia experience, while at the same giving our content providers a new way to communicate with a broad and highly receptive audience. With more than 130 million unique registered users of RealPlayer, everybody stands to benefit.”

RealPlayer users can sign up to receive daily messages from a select number of popular Internet content providers directly via the desktop, with each message containing links to featured audio and video programming and to the content providers’ Web sites. RealNetworks content providers in the new service include:, ARTISTdirect,, E! Online, GetMusic, and

The Message Service will alert RealPlayer users to daily news headlines, music videos, educational content, and popular entertainment clips. Only users sign up for the service will receive the content messages, and users will be free to unsubscribe at any point.

To use the Message Service participants will need RealPlayer 8, which is available for free download from RealPlayer 8 users may sign up for the program through a button on the RealPlayer 8 user interface, or by clicking on the Message Service buttons located on the Guide.

RealNetworks also announced Connection, a service through which third-party content providers will have direct control over the programming of select, featured areas of the Guide site. Connection content providers will be able to offer a slate of headlines for their audio and video programming each day, as well as a more thorough directory of the audio and video programming available on their sites. The service is being launched in the music and sports sections of the on Guide site, and will be extended to other content categories in the months ahead.

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