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RealNetworks Launches First All-in-One Media Subscription Service For Internet Consumers

New RealPlayer GoldPass Package of Premium Software, Services and Content Now Available to More Than 140 Million RealPlayer Users

Final Releases of RealPlayer 8, RealJukebox 2 and RealDownload 4 Now Available

August 15, 2000 06:00 AM Eastern Time
SEATTLE, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- RealNetworks(R), Inc. RNWK today launched RealPlayer(R) GoldPass, the first all-in-one media subscription service available to a mass audience on the Internet. RealPlayer GoldPass will give subscribers access to a rich combination of premium software, services and exclusive content, updated monthly. The launch of this new subscription service is accompanied by the final release today of RealPlayer 8, RealJukebox(TM) 2 and RealDownload(TM) 4, best-of-breed software that has fueled RealNetworks' recognized leadership in digital media.
RealNetworks Launches GoldPass Subscription Service

The new RealPlayer GoldPass service comes nearly four years to the day after RealNetworks introduced one of the Internet's first digitally distributed premium consumer software products, RealAudio Player Plus(R). Over the past four years, RealNetworks has sold premium versions of its RealPlayer, RealJukebox, and RealDownload software to more than two million consumers. RealPlayer is one of the most popular applications on the Internet, with more than 140 million unique registered users, and is strongly positioned to deliver subscription services to the widest possible audience.

"This is a logical next step for RealNetworks, and an important next step for the industry," said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO, RealNetworks, Inc. "Twenty years ago the commercial cable industry was born, and over time it sparked the creation of a wealth of new programming and new business models. We think today's introduction of RealPlayer GoldPass will catalyze similar developments over the Internet."

RealPlayer GoldPass subscribers will get access to a variety of premium software and services, as well as exclusive programming and content. The RealPlayer GoldPass service will be updated and enhanced monthly with a new mix of software, services, and programming. Initial benefits of the RealPlayer GoldPass service at launch include:

-- RealPlayer 8 Plus(R), the best Internet media player available, and Valve's Team Fortress, one of the most popular multiplayer games in Internet history. -- Premium services such as software upgrades; access to "best of" archives from Take5 and; the GoldPass Screening Room(TM), featuring advanced notification and sneak peaks of hot new feature films; and free phone support seven days a week. -- Exclusive premium content including: documentary footage produced by for GoldPass subscribers; on-demand concerts from House of Blues (; UFO and Paranormal Video footage from UFO TV (MediaWebcast); and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Video.

Relying on the vast resources of the ABCNews library, will produce and edit original content on subjects ranging from the Apollo space missions to natural disasters. RealPlayer GoldPass subscribers will be able to view these stories as they originally aired and with in-depth text and graphic background on each topic.

"From our first experience of working with RealAudio 1.0 five years ago, to today's final release of RealPlayer 8, and RealNetworks have built a strong and lasting relationship," said's senior vice president and general manager, Bernard Gershon. "We look forward to offering the highest level content available as a participant in the new RealPlayer GoldPass subscription service."

On-demand House of Blues concerts will include performances by acts such as 311, Yes, Cowboy Junkies, Ziggy Marley, Motley Crue and Mickey Hart.

"House of Blues has been a longtime fan of creating new revenue models for artists. We think that RealNetworks has developed a great testing ground for consumers and we are excited about being part of these first steps," said Philip Fracassi, Senior Vice President of Production & Distribution for House of Blues Entertainment, Inc.

In the months ahead, RealPlayer GoldPass subscribers will have access to a growing variety of premier content, including exclusive celebrity interviews, hot online games, sneak peeks at top new movies, concerts and music videos, cartoons, reality programming and other special events. They will also have access to a broadening array of software and services.

"By connecting millions of consumers with hundreds of content providers, RealNetworks is at the epicenter of the digital media industry," said Thomas Frank, COO, RealNetworks, Inc. "With the subscription services we're launching today, we're building on our market leadership to drive the industry to a new level."

Charter subscriptions for RealPlayer GoldPass will be available in the US and are priced at $9.95/month, in addition to the purchase of RealPlayer Plus. For a limited time, the more than two million purchasers of prior versions of RealPlayer Plus will also be able to receive a free upgrade to RealPlayer 8 Plus when they subscribe to RealPlayer GoldPass.

Best-of-Breed Software Released Today, Audience Size Unmatched and Growing

Accompanying the launch of RealPlayer GoldPass, RealNetworks also announced today that final editions of the latest versions of its best-of-breed software are available for free download at The products released today are:

-- RealPlayer 8, the number one streaming media player, offers TV-quality Internet video experiences at consumer broadband rates with RealVideo(R) 8. -- RealJukebox 2, the only complete digital music jukebox, provides compatibility for the broadest range of media formats, digital rights management technologies, portable music devices and Internet standards. -- RealDownload 4, a leading media download manager, simplifies Internet media acquisition by ensuring that downloads are reliable, convenient and fun.

The three products are available individually or in an integrated suite called the Real Entertainment Center.

Additionally, RealNetworks today touted newly released usage data confirming the widening lead for RealPlayer formats as the preferred Internet streaming media formats. RealPlayer content was played by 27.1 million US home users during the month of July, two and a half times the number of any other media player format, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, a leading Internet audience measurement service. The number of consumers accessing RealPlayer content increased by more than 1.8 million active users from June to July. July marks the sixth consecutive month during which RealPlayer content has increased its lead over competing media formats -- a distinction it has held for as long as Nielsen//NetRatings has been publishing such data.

The combination of best-of-breed products, unmatched reach for streaming and digital media and today's new RealPlayer GoldPass service extends RealNetworks' leadership in Internet media and provides consumers the best digital media experiences available.

About RealNetworks

RealNetworks, Inc., based in Seattle, is the recognized leader in media delivery on the Internet. It develops and markets software products and services designed to enable users of personal computers and consumer electronic devices to send and receive audio, video and other multimedia services using the Web. Consumers can access and experience audio/video programming and download RealNetworks consumer software on the Internet at RealNetworks' systems and corporate information is located on the Internet at

NOTE: RealNetworks, RealAudio, RealAudio Player Plus, RealPlayer, RealPlayer Plus, RealVideo,,, Screening Room, RealJukebox and RealDownload are trademarks or registered trademarks of RealNetworks, Inc. All other companies or products listed herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE RealNetworks, Inc.

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