Real Networks on downloads (RNWK, IVIL, MNST, GOOG, TSCM)

by: David Jackson

Real Networks (ticker: RNWK) CEO Rob Glaser discussed his company's move into revenue generated by ad sales and download fees on his Q1 (May 4th) conference call. Download partners? Weather Channel and Google. Plus, he mentioned hiring execs with experience from (ticker: MNST), iVillage (ticker: IVIL) and (ticker: TSCM). Extracts:

…I wanted to address… our increased focus on ad supported, free-to-consumer media properties and services. This is a new area of focus… and one which we're just starting to get traction in... Q1 revenue was $5.6 million, a 39% increase over the first quarter of 2004. Our media properties revenue comes from two categories, traditional advertisers and download partners. Example of the former, who we signed deals with in the first quarter are Sony, Samsung, Vonage and Chrysler, our charter sponsor for Rhapsody 25.

Download partners pay us to deliver software to consumers. Our two current download partners are the Weather Channel and Google. Of particular note, we have just renewed and expanded our Google relationship, which started at the beginning of 2004. Under the new arrangement we'll be distributing additional Google products with a wider set of RealNetworks properties, including with Rhapsody. The progress we're making in this business is due a combination of leveraging our current assets better and enhancing our team… we hired seasoned executives such as Michael Schutzler, former CEO of and SVP of Consumer Products at and Ed Delfs, former VP of Ad Sales at both and iVillage…

(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)

Full disclosure: at the time of writing I'm short TSCM.