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Internet

RealNetworks taps media firms for service

The streaming media company cuts deals with nearly two dozen media outlets to provide programming for its new subscription service.

    RealNetworks on Tuesday said it has cut deals with nearly two dozen media companies to provide programming for its new subscription service.

    RealOne, a service set to launch in November, blends the audio and video streaming software of RealNetworks? RealPlayer with the music player software of its RealJukebox to form a one-stop digital media service.

    When the service launches next month, RealOne will allow consumers to stream and download music from the vast catalogs of several major recording studios. Warner Music Group, BMG Entertainment, EMI Recorded Music and Zomba will provide music from their catalogs, which include artists like Madonna, Britney Spears and Eric Clapton.

    RealOne subscribers will also have access to programming from a variety of news and entertainment outlets, including ABCNews.com, The Wall Street Journal's site, Animal Channel and CNN. Members can also view content from CNET Networks, the publisher of News.com.

    The announcement comes as rival Internet music subscription services inch toward launching next month. Pressplay, a joint venture between Sony and Vivendi Universal, last week said it has licensed a database filled with songs, albums and other music information for its service. AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann, EMI Group and RealNetworks are launching MusicNet using RealNetworks' technology.

    The competition has been so fierce that the Justice Department entered the fray to determine whether the recording industry has engaged in unfair licensing practices regarding online music, raising the possibility of antitrust violations.