“It’s hard to see what exactly Real hopes to accomplish with this campaign. Don’t get me wrong. This is important stuff. Americans spend about $30 billion a year on music, and while downloads make up only 2 to 3 percent of that total, digital music is expected to one day be part of everybody’s life. Real wants to get a good chunk of that business. What makes no sense is how the company is going about getting it — by positioning itself as a groovy liberator, a provider of cheap music, freedom, and choice,” Thomas Mucha writes for Business 2.0.
“Real is trying to wage a grassroots battle to shame Apple into working with it. The company posted an online petition titled ‘Hey Apple, Don’t Break My iPod,’ which urges Apple to open its proprietary music copy-protection technology to RealNetworks. But the petition backfired, attracting little interest from anyone besides the Apple fanatics who write obscenity-filled screeds. Real comes off as anything but a hero,” Mucha writes.
“‘Real doesn’t understand it’s fighting a brand battle,’ says Bradley Peacock, president of Chicago-based marketing consultancy Peacock Nine. RealNetworks, with its complicated downloads and annoying pop-ups, has never been adored, and it is going up against an aspirational brand that is. (That’s why people wear the pocket-size device outside their clothing and use the distinctive white earphones even though other earbuds offer better sound quality.) ‘Apple offers a superior product addressing genuine consumer wants and needs,’ says Drew Neisser, president of New York-based Renegade Marketing. ‘Real was never beloved by its users, only tolerated. Even by presenting itself as a bargain brand, it can’t overcome its inherent limitations. A stinky cheese smells regardless of how little it costs,'” Mucha writes. “Real is waging a grassroots battle where there is no grass… ‘At the end of the day, starting a price war is going to bite RealNetworks on the ass,’ Peacock predicts. ‘Why would you want to Wal-Mart your brand?'”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The sooner RealNetworks finishes circling the bowl, the better. Will anybody even care when RealNetworks ceases to exist?