RealNetworks’ CEO Rob Glaser has been interviewed by Kate Bulkley for The Guardian.
The Guardian: One could look at Real and say you are becoming the Sun Microsystems of players, i.e. you don’t have the critical mass to make sure you get the right content and the right number of users.
Rob Glaser: I think that is mathematically not true. I don’t think it is going to be a winner-takes-all game. I think we’ll have good share and Microsoft will have good share, and there may be one or two others.
MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, one “other” springs immediately to mind.
The Guardian: There are lots of other places for people to go to get downloadable music, so how will Real Music stand out given it is coming out relatively late in the game?
Rob Glaser: We know that in any of these consumer service businesses we don’t have a birthright to be the leader, but in the US we are number one in terms of music subscriptions with competitors Napster and Yahoo! And then there is Apple, which is slightly different.
MacDailyNews Take: “Slightly different,” as measured in billions of dollars.
The Guardian: Apple’s model is to make money on the sale of devices, using music to drive that – and it is working.
Rob Glaser: Apple has gotten away with this approach to a greater degree than we thought they would. The music industry has made a mistake, not by agreeing to Apple’s fixed-price level (79p per track), which is what gets all the attention, but by allowing Apple to create devices that are not interoperable. If you want interoperable music today, there is a very easy solution: it’s called stealing. The average number of songs sold for the iPod is 25, and there are many more songs on iPods than 25. About half the music on iPods is music obtained illegitimately either from an illegal peer-to-peer networks or from ripping friends’ CDs, which is illegal. But it’s the only way to get non-copy protected, portable, interoperable music.
Full interview here.
MacDailyNews Take: We congratulate The Guardian’s Kate Bulkley for conducting a nice interview with a subject who most likely only replied in between bites of Krispy Kremes. Best Interview Line of 2006 (so far): “The Sun Microsystems of players…” By the way, the reason Glaser concentrates on subscriptions is because he couldn’t compete with Apple’s iTunes in à la carte song sales. If Steve Jobs had a forklift, he could have literally handed Glaser’s ass to him, instead of just doing it figuratively. So, Glaser calls iPod owners thieves and proves that he can’t even be original with his foolish, unproven, and just-plain-wrong statements: Microsoft CEO Ballmer: ‘Apple iPod users are music thieves’ – October 04, 2004. Oh, here’s an interesting one, too, for those who prefer facts over the fantasies of a loser: Study shows iPod owners significantly less likely to steal music than the average person – January 13, 2006.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “jim” for the heads up.]
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Real makes Rhapsody web-based, opens limited service to Mac users – December 05, 2005
Real’s Glaser: Apple iPod+iTunes ‘will lose out because of the share of market forces against them’ – October 29, 2005
Apple’s ‘pure genius’ will soon make iTunes’ portal the ‘number one destination on the Internet’ – July 26, 2005
Study shows Apple iTunes Music Store pay-per-download model preferred over subscription service – April 11, 2005
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
RealNetworks ‘Harmony’ stops working on iPods but nobody notices for a month and a half – 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