Analyst: Rob Glaser’s ill-advised war against Apple ‘is going to bite RealNetworks on the ass’

“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?


  1. Hello nerds and geeks,

    This is Rob Glaser, CEO of the outstanding company ‘Real’ back to drop some sense into the heads of you Apple loving fools.

    First of all, Real is the 3rd most recognized brand in the world, trailing only Walmart and McDonalds.

    Second, I’ve never heard of this idiot writer Thomas mulky or Business 2.0. Thomas must be some intern because it’s pretty obvious that he can’t write. Business 2.0 is going out of business in a month anyway.

    Third, our music store has already outsold Apple 3 to 1. The majority of the world is currently using our music store because they think Apple is for losers.

    Thanks you schmucks for making Real number 1!

    Rob Glaser
    CEO Real

  2. I told you Glasser was a frigging drama king and sacrificing his company and employees in a revenge against Apple after threatening Apple to “Open the iPod or else” which he was publicly humiliated in the press. (His memo to Apple was leaked)


    Nobody is making money in the online music business, just Apple selling iPods. Real is taking a big loss and the RIAA will be sending a fat bill one day and Real will declare bankruptcy.


  3. Yeah, we are not impressed by Real’s behavior… but…

    Has anyone really spent any open minded time looking at the non-QT media players for the Mac? Real 10 (beta, yes) is not a piece of crap at all. Actually, all RV9 and RV10 looks pretty darned good. Radio streams over RA sound very decent for the bitstream.

    Now, fire up your Windows Media turd. You will see slow performance, and huge files and bitrates required, to not look like sh1t. Streams online sound completely horrible. A 16k stream on Real sounds great for talk radio, whereas the same show on Windows Media uses a 32k stream and sounds like an aging cell phone in a tunnel.

    Sure, use them on windows and it’s totally different. Windows Media (no surprise) looks pretty decent, and Real is a whale piece of crap full of RealSpam, RealPopups, RealMarketing, and RealBloat.

    *shrug* Screw em for what they want to do with digital music and for trying to make Apple look like a bad guy, but you know, their player doesn’t suck. On a Mac.

    Windows Media Player, however, is the huge piece of crap. Let’s call it like it is.

  4. freedom of choice for their shitty software meant windows only, yet itunes is available on both platforms….

    I know cool and Rob, you are not cool…

    Even in the windows world people hate the real player interface and how it blicks constantly on the start bar when it wants to be updated, how they try and make you sign up for the Plus version and make it impossible to cancel. Remember when a program called Gator was actually helpful and now its “Spyware”, congrats Real you have become the “Gator” of media players.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.