SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 24 RealNetworks Inc
, an early warhorse of the internet era that has
stumbled in recent years, aims to reverse its fortunes with
video software and storage services that enable people to
readily share videos among different devices.
Rob Glaser, who returned to the company he founded as
interim CEO last year, said the new RealPlayer Cloud offering
would leverage the still-large installed base of RealPlayer
personal computer video software, and potentially establish the
platform for a new push into media content and other services.
The new software addresses the problem of incompatibility
among video formats on various devices, allowing customers to
upload a video which can then be viewed and shared on a PC, a
tablet, an iPhone, an Android device or a TV set.
Up to two gigabytes of storage will be available for free,
with fees kicking in for additional storage.
"The business model of 'freemium,' there are many examples
of it working, especially for storage," Glaser said in an
interview, citing the example of Dropbox.
Glaser said the RealNetwork brand still had considerable
power, noting that some 100,000 people had signed up to be
notified about an iPhone RealPlayer from a simple solicitation
on the RealNetworks mobile website.
RealNetworks was launched in 1994 and originally provided
tools and services for streaming audio and then streaming video.
But the company has struggled to evolve in a fast-changing
internet media market, spinning out its Rhapsody subscription
music service and moving into the gaming business via
Glaser, who founded the company in 1994 after a 10-year
stint at Microsoft Corp, stepped aside as CEO in 2010
only to return in 2012 after two subsequent CEOs quickly
departed the Seattle-based company.