RealNetworks Faces Reality

The Business 2.0 story is now online. Profile of Rob Glaser and his ambitions with RNWK. A few noteworthy points:

— The story touches on Glaser close connections with Baseball and how the subscription service owes a lot to the sport.

— Gross margins on the subscription business are a fat 59 percent, nearly twice those at the best-run cable companies.

— On his music service: “We have the opportunity to take the brand to the level of MTV.”

— Exclusivity might be a problem for RNWK in the future: MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman says he’s now negotiating with Yahoo and AOL.

— Microsoft is slowly and surely getting into the market with subscription offerings, and a new paid content offering will be coming from Microsoft “almost every quarter for the next four to six quarters.”

— The non-ego advantage: The key advantage to not being a portal, Glaser argues, is that Real is happy to give its partners’ brands top billing.

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