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?

29 Comments

  1. Hahahahaha. This is a battle that no one cares about anymore. Real lost. Apple won. Enderle needs to get over it. The war is over. I’d be more concerned about Microsoft’s entry into online music.

    Microsoft ready to crush Apple’s iTunes, iPod party?
    http://www.mac360.com/index.php/mac360/more/microsoft_music_ready_to_crush_ipod_itunes/

    Steve Jobs & Real’s CEO Rob Glaser get into food fight.
    http://www.mac360.com/index.php/mac360/more/apples_jobs_reals_glaser_meet_debate_fight_at_macarthur_park/

    See, Enderle? It’s over.
    http://www.mac360.com/index.php/mac360/more/roundup_apples_ipod_vs_realnetworks_is_it_over/

  2. not to defend his tactics…but the real purpose IMHO is that he wants to sell more Rhapsody subscriptions. That’s where the money is for music on line…or that’s the word coming out of Napster/MS/REAL

    he’s gotton so much publicity and garnered a lot of traffic…the 49� deal will end, but how many more Rhapsody subscriptions is he going to get because of the loss leader/free publicity…that’s MONTHLY income.

    with MS about to release a way for people to move music from subscriptions to portables…that’s the attack plan for the competition to iPod/iTMS. it may or may not work but there has to be some logic to REAL’s approach and public battles with Apple.

  3. Real does suck. Downloaded and tried the latest version a week ago. Wanted to listen to a NFL game, signed up for the trial, went through all the crap… logged in… yadda yadda yadda… finally got to DL the link to listen to the game…. dead link to a game that was in the 1st quarter. Figured it might just be the one team… tried EVERY game what was currently playing… like 3 games….. everyone was a dead link. Canceled the trial subscription right there. Guess I will have to kill cable and get the dish and buy NFL Sunday Ticket. I am not afraid to spend money to get a good product. Sorry Real, but your product sucks.

    I hate to say it, but Windows Media Player is better then Real. That is saying a lot IMHO.

    Hope Real is paying more then .49� so they lose money on each song… that will help the death spiral

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

    Rubbish. Coke, anyone? There’s plenty of brands more recognized around the world then Real.

  5. I have to give the record companies credit, they have devised a way to get Real and Apple and Microsoft and Napster and Walmart and a host of others to fight eachother to the death in order to market their product. Wouldn’t Ford love to have distributors who were that blood thirsty. If Bob Glasser were really smart he would take this fight back to the record companies and demand that “they” choose one format to distribute music and make all players use it. That would be best for the users. The current system is bad for the users, bad for the distributors and good for the record companies.

  6. My God, Bill, who over at Real is giving you conjugal visits? There’s nothing about Real’s software that’s good, Windows OR Mac! I’ve tried loading the P.O.S. onto my system a number of times (for the same reason as The Dude, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered). After installing, I either get “broken plug-in” messages, or the streaming is SO terribly bad and broken up that it makes watching a video like riding an acid trip. Screw Real. At least Windows media Player works HALF the time.

  7. My God, Bill, who over at Real is giving you conjugal visits? There’s nothing about Real’s software that’s good, Windows OR Mac! I’ve tried loading the P.O.S. onto my system a number of times (for the same reason as The Dude, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered). After installing, I either get “broken plug-in” messages, or the streaming is SO terribly bad and broken up that it makes watching a video like riding an acid trip. Screw Real. At least Windows media Player works HALF the time.

  8. Real is led by an egotistical maniac who is hell bent on the destruction of his company. I really feel sorry for Real’s employees, who will soon be out of jobs.

    I’ve tried both RealPlayer 10 and WMP10 and I prefer WMP10 by far. I agree with the earlier poster who hypothesized that the move is really to increase Raphsody ( spelling? ) subscriptions.

    Sean

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