Episode #4: Chat with Real Networks CEO, Rob Glaser

22 Comments

Things are heating up this week, as Om and Joyce tear through another round of Hitlines without mercy. We also sit down with RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser, a true veteran in the tech world. All that plus analysis, predictions, and even an insult or two… on The GigaOM Show!

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22 Comments

Joe

My real player 11 is a pack of trouble. If I have a CD in the CD rom, the player and the entire computer freezes up and I have to do a complete shutdown to recover from the freezeup. The CD rom works properly as long as I don’t bring up the real player 11. I can get the real player 11 to do some work only if I have no CD in the CD rom.

maths

Om,

Rob has stated that though Real goes close to the legal edge, it is on the right side of the law. However, this is not always true and I think Real’s practices have to be scrutinised a little more, and I don’t mean in the US or with regards to Rhapsody, which stays clear of legal minefields.
Real’s highest user growth is likely to be in China and closer examination will also reveal that the Real player is offering some dubious content via money-paying partners who are pirating music.
For example, within the Real Player in China, they have a partner called Bala (www.bala.com.cn) that offers music streams just like Rhapsody but none of the revenue earned via advertising by Real/Bala ever goes back to the music copyright owners.
The “when in Rome” concept is well and good, but Real management sitting in the US not only benefits from the installed based growth contributed by China but they cannot at the same time claim to have clean hands while the US collectively bashes China on music IP issues. Real is also providing the infrastructure that exacerbates this very same piracy.
Om, you mentioned that you have a post coming up on Real – you might want to write to me first and I can show you the screenshots that shows you what Real is actually doing

maths

Om,

Rob has stated that though Real goes close to the legal edge, it is on the right side of the law. However, this is not always true and I think Real’s practices have to be scrutinised a little more, and I don’t mean in the US or with regards to Rhapsody, which stays clear of legal minefields.
Real’s highest user growth is likely to be in China and closer examination will also reveal that the Real player is offering some dubious content via money-paying partners who are pirating music.
For example, within the Real Player in China, they have a partner called Bala (www.bala.com.cn) that offers music streams just like Rhapsody but none of the revenue earned via advertising by Real/Bala ever goes back to the music copyright owners.
The “when in Rome” concept is well and good, but Real management sitting in the US not only benefits from the installed based growth contributed by China but they cannot at the same time claim to have clean hands while the US collectively bashes China on music IP issues. Real is also providing the infrastructure that exacerbates this very same piracy.
Om, you mentioned that you have a post coming up on Real – you might want to write to me first and I can show you the screenshots that shows you what Real is doing in China

Ryan Scott

Would be nice if you could just link to the download, not make me subscribe to a feed. Not everyone is an Apple fanboy!

Ryan Scott

Another great show… I hope to see these shows in add’l formats – avi or mpg? Quicktime is lovely but its nearly as obnoxious as Real with all the updating and bothering me all the time.

pwb

I think Real would make for an intersting acquisition by Apple. For <$1b Apple gets 1) $500m in revs, 2) $500m in net current assets, 3) 2.7m recurring paying subscribers, 4) a subscription music/content service and 5) lots of content to switch over to Quicktime. And Rob and Steve making up would make for a pretty good story.

Ted Grubb

I really think the show is coming along. I’ve never been a fan of real, but I thought the last episode was the most polished to date.

There is real chemistry btw You and Joyce. You’re really starting to playing well off eachother. I can’t wait for the next episode.

Keep doing what you’re doing Om, don’t listen to these clowns :)

Eric

Honestly – will YouTube or Real be the long-term winners in video content delivery over the internet? Doubtful either will be – this is a marathon, not a sprint and we have a long way to go before a real (excuse the pun) business model makes video profitable.

Thomas

Om, interesting that you got Glazer’s bile on tape. You nailed him with the Youtube question! Excellent job. Glazer has had it “all figured out” for a long time now. It’s clear that he has a set of biasis that will always hold Real back. A management change would probably be the best thing for that company and it’s stock…

Kathy

Om,

I think you are a good journalist and I have been a long time reader of your blog. I have also watched all your show episodes till date. So here’s my feedback:

  1. Improve your wardrobe. Looking good on TV is important. It is a visual medium and while we all wish we didn’t judge people based on how they look, it matters if you are on video.

  2. Really work on your interviewing style, enunciation etc. You are may be the best writer and a great print journalist but on TV you are a rookie you have to recognize that. You are here to prove yourself and you have to really work on it.

  3. Make eye contact with the camera/your interview subject at all times. Sometimes you come across as very shifty on camera.

Finally, I would agree with some commentators above that you would be better off getting a new host. You don’t need the criticism and the jokes about you that come with this show. Is the GigaOm show worth all that for you?

John john

Om,

I love your shows but please leave the presenting to better speakers. Your indian accent is not very clear and your interview style is very argumentative.
The content and show being named after you is enough. Please bow down now.

allen stern

I wish y’all wouldn’t make these text intros (see above) that are just not true. Making out like jason/kevin went at it when they didn’t, now making out like your hitlines were big time when they aren’t. Be true and it will serve better.

With the amount of crap Real has done over the years, it’s interesting that all of the questions were happy fluffy questions and none about spyware or infestation.

G

OM – Rob Glaser knows the “legal” content business better than 99.9 percent of the executives in digital media space today. You just have to listen to him speak, and you know this man has done his homework. Great interview OM – brief and you hit the major points.

Even though Rob was being polite in his YouTube statements – YouTube legal factor will become a huge competitive advantage for RealNetworks. Given the facts as it stands today, YouTube is going into the battlefield against Viacom as a “defendant” – and as of right now legal precedents are not in YouTube’s favor. We can debate the DMCA till we are blue in the face – so not looking for a rebuttal to this point. When the legal battles are settled – Real Networks is one of the incumbents best positioned to share the spoils of a potential Viacom victory. Even if there are deficiences in Real’s business models, they are agile and have the money to make a difference.

Om Malik

Mario

From my perspective, they have finally put a new strategy in place that takes content to the edge. I think it is smart approach and they should have done it a long time ago. i think you are going to start imitating them soon enough. give it another six months, and lets see what happens.

I have a post coming, so don’t want to preempt it

Mario Ruiz

Hi OM,

I am new over your blog. Interesting.

Glazer said: being at the edge was more profitable than 100% legal.

Still the business model of Real is not profitable. Seems to me an excuse for not performing although you certainly said they were the first of the party.

Do you think the exit of Real is the hardware-software integration. Seems to me that after so many years, they are still finding their identity. Too late for this.

Mario Ruiz
@ http://www.oursheet.com

Rashid

Hey OM,

A little positive criticism – if you could annunciate a little more that would help the flow of the show some.

Otherwise, great job. Keep up the good work.

G

OM – getting better everytime! Great job filtering out the noise and surfacing them in your “hitlines”.

Keep ’em coming OM!

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