Earnings: RealNetworks Q4 Revs Grow 25 Percent; Music Up 21 Percent, But Slower Growth

RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) has reported Q4 revenue of $156.9 million, up 25 percent from $125.6 million in the prior year’s quarter. Net income in the quarter was just $2.7 million, down from $39.3 million, although that included a one-time gain from its antitrust settlement with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). The company attributed its top-line growth to 29 percent growth in games, 21 percent growth in music and increased technology revenue via its acquisition of WiderThan. Other highlights:

— The company spent $16 million on advertising at Viacom (NYSE: VIA) related to its partnership with Rhapsody America. On the other hand, it booked $13.3 million in other income on its 49 percent ownership in this business.
— Total music revenue was $40.5 million, which includes its Rhapsody and RadioPass services, as well as some related ad sales.
— Through its GamePass service, the company had $30.8 million, compared to $23.9 million.
— For the full year 2008, the company is calling for revenue of $612-$632 million, compared to ’07 revenue of $567.6 million. That represents fairly humble growth of 8-11 percent.

Updated: RNWK has forecasted Q1 and FY 2008 revenue below Street expectations, partly due to slower growth in its Rhapsody America music business. “In part, this is because some of our new partnerships, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), will take time to come online and won’t be in force until the second half of 2008,” he said, reports Reuters. He told analysts that he expected it would take one-quarter longer than he anticipated last September to offer Rhapsody to Verizon customers. Glaser also said labels have been slow to remove restrictions on music licensing, which can dampen growth in online music subscription services.

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