Next week at the D Mobile technology conference, Real Networks will demonstrate its first new major consumer product in a long time, a cross-platform media management service. The as-yet unnamed product is in two parts: software that consumers run on their computers and mobile devices that will watch for new content they store on them; and a Web service that can collect that media and stream or load it to any of the devices the consumer owns.
Real's new-since-January CEO Robert Kimball believes that this product will address a major pain point for consumers and bring Real back to the public eye after years of decline. But he was clear with me that Real's consumer-facing media player (remember that?) accounts for less than a tenth of the company's business and that he doesn't expect a major boost from the new service. Currently, the bulk of Real's business is in its gaming platform, its licensing of technology, and, primarily (37 percent of revenues) the back-end and white-label service Real provides to wireless carriers. But even there, Real has a lot more potential than market: about 38 million mobile subscribers use Real-developed online services, out of a potential addressable market of 700 million people, Kimball says.… Read more