RealNetworks Earnings Call: Glaser: Most Turbulent Environment Since We Started Our Business

imageRob Glaser, CEO of RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK), starts off the Q208 earnings call on a somber note: This is most turbulent macro-economic scene we have seen since our company was founded 14 years ago. We are seeing ripple effects of the economic slowdown…for us, specially advertising softness, and reduction in capital expenditure. We are better positioned to ride out this downturn, because of our balance sheet and cash.

Music without limits, its news DRM-free service: Launched June 30th and going well. Optimistic about our chances, but sober about competition with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iTunes. We now see line-of-sight hope to revive our music subscription business.

Spinning out the games business: On track to file for the spin-off by end of 2008. No specific details about how this will happen.

More acquisitions: We have been active in terms of acquisitions in the last couple of years…we have done in games business, and we have found it to be a hospitable environment. The largest one we did was on the mobile side, with WiderThan…it was a very complex acquisition. The kind of sectors we stayed away from was the bubble sectors, and valuation were disconnected from reasonable expectation of discounted cash flow. We are now seeing early signs of the popping of that bubble. But then, every company that has the word Facebook in their prospectus think they are worth gazillions of dollars.

The formal earnings report is here.