“To a multi-billionaire like Bill Gates, $761m (£428m) might not be a huge sum. But to Rob Glaser it is a windfall that could make his RealNetworks one of the key players in the future of video- and audio-playing software,” Stephen Pritchard reports for The Independent. “The $761m is what Microsoft paid earlier this month to settle an anti-competition lawsuit brought by its American rival, alleging that Gates’s company had used its Windows operating system to lock out Real’s RealPlayer software in favour of Windows Media Player… With the competition authorities on his side, Glaser, Real’s chief executive, could have fought on. Instead he settled for a deal that amounts to around two and a half years’ turnover for his company. Just over half of the settlement, $460m, is in cash. The remainder will be paid for in services from Microsoft, such as advertising for Real’s Rhapsody music service on Microsoft’s internet portal, MSN.”
Pritchard reports, “Glaser’s decision to opt for access to Microsoft services, and not just cash, might also prove astute. It cements the working relationship and puts the Rhapsody service in front of millions of MSN users, giving it a leg-up in the fight with Apple’s iTunes. Glaser’s battle with Microsoft would have made him a natural ally of Apple’s chief, Steve Jobs. But he criticises Apple for adopting closed technologies instead of open standards. ‘Microsoft takes a very wide approach to licensing its digital rights management software. It is vexing that Apple has taken a closed approach.'”
Pritchard reports that Glaser “believes handset firms and operators will pick Real as its software is open and plays a range of file formats – something the Microsoft agreement only strengthens. That, he adds, is in contrast to Apple’s strategy. ‘The Apple-Motorola phone could be a train wreck. Apple’s deal with HP [to sell iPods] was a train wreck. That end-to-end approach to designing the customer experience can be effective early on, but over time it will lose out because of the share of market forces against them.'”
Full article here.
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On October 27th, RealNetworks announced their earnings results for the quarter ended September 30, 2005. Real reported revenue of $82.2 million and net income of $11.2 million. Real’s music revenue totaled $25.0 million for the quarter.
On October 11th, Apple announced their earnings results for the quarter ended September 24, 2005. Apple reported revenue of $3.68 billion and net income of $430 million. Apple’s music revenue totaled $1.477 billion for the quarter.
How much time does Glaser plan to spend catching Apple exactly? Is Krispy Kreme now fortifying their donuts with some industrial-strength vitamins and life-extending gene therapy? In the last quarter, Apple matched Real’s entire quarterly revenue of $82.2 million in about the first 49 hours of the quarter. In the last quarter, Apple matched Real’s total quarterly net income of $25 million before lunch on the 2nd day of the quarter. In the last quarter, Apple matched Real’s music revenue of $25 million right around the 36th hour of the quarter.
Apple’s ‘pure genius’ will soon make iTunes’ portal the ‘number one destination on the Internet’ – July 26, 2005
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Real CEO Glaser calls Apple ‘deceptive’ with iTunes Music Store – March 07, 2005
Real CEO pitches to half empty room at tech symposium; Apple draws standing-room-only crowd – February 25, 2005
RealNetworks’ CEO Rob Glaser grabs 3 of top 10 spots on ‘Dumbest Moments in Business 2005’ list – January 31, 2005
The de facto standard for legal digital online music files: Apple’s protected MPEG-4 Audio (.m4p) – December 15, 2004
Real’s CEO Glaser: ‘Harmony’ hack legal, Mac lovers are very sensitive to Apple criticism, and more – September 14, 2004
Analyst: Rob Glaser’s ill-advised war against Apple ‘is going to bite RealNetworks on the ass’ – August 30, 2004
RealNetwork’s CEO Glaser crashes Apple’s music party – July 30, 2004
Real CEO Glaser: Steve Jobs’ comments on Real ‘not succeeding’ are ‘ridiculously humorous’ – April 29, 2004
NY Times: Real CEO Glaser was close to having ‘iPod’ before Apple, but let it ‘slip through his fingers – April 24, 2004
Real’s CEO Glaser: Apple’s iPod/iTunes combo ‘threatens to turn off consumers’ – April 20, 2004
Jobs to Glaser: go pound sand – April 16, 2004
Real CEO Glaser begs Apple to make iPod play nice with other music services – March 24, 2004
Real CEO Glaser: ‘iTunes is only going to be used for playing songs you bought using the iTunes store – January 16, 2004