RealNetworks’ Subscriptions Come in Flat in Q2


It struck to me as slightly odd that RNWK didn’t release any figures on the exact number of subscribers to their RealOne service in Q2 earnings release the day before, but I didn’t investigate…well, Seattle Times did it for me…its red-hot streak of ramping up its subscriber numbers has stalled. The company, which over the past year has added roughly 100,000 subscribers every three months, said that it had no subscriber growth over the second quarter. Executives said the slowdown was partly due to a seasonal drop-off in baseball-related subscriptions.

The number stands at 1 million–about where it was at the end of the first quarter–and Rob Glaser, in the conference call, brought out the hackneyed phrase: “To our customers, we say ‘Thanks a Million'”, the same line he used in the Q1 conference call!

On how baseball offerings has affected its subscriber numbers, RNWK President Larry Jacobson said that the company had more baseball-only subscribers for the 2002 season than in 2001, and so the loss of those subscriptions had more impact. The war in Iraq also might have skewed the subscription numbers, Jacobson said, because some people hungry for news signed up for the SuperPass service in the first quarter when the war began and then unsubscribed a few weeks later.

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