Real carves out new business unit

RealNetworks merges its RealPlayer software business with its music services business to create a single division.

2 min read
RealNetworks is combining its RealPlayer software business with its music services business to create a single division, led by Vice President Robert Acker.

The new division will look after music and video products and services, including RealPlayer software, the RealPlayer Music Store, RadioPass and the Rhapsody music subscription service. Acker was named vice president of the RealPlayer business earlier this year. He will continue to report to Richard Wolpert, chief strategy officer, the company said.

Real also named Niranjan Nagar as general manager of music services. Nagar was a member of the executive team at Listen.com, which was acquired by Real. He will report to Acker and will be in charge of music stores and the jukebox service.

Sean Ryan, currently Real's vice president of music services, will leave the company this month "to pursue other business opportunities," Real said.

Real has been trying to gain inroads in the online music market. The company said recently that it had sold 3 million songs in three weeks, in a campaign designed to promote its Harmony technology. Harmony lets consumers download music onto portable devices, including Apple Computer's iPod digital music player. Apple, a dominant player in the online music market with its iTunes Music Store, compared Real to a hacker for the Harmony move.

"Over the next year, we believe that it's critical to adopt a holistic approach that tightly integrates our player and music businesses, especially as we begin developing a new version of Rhapsody that includes Harmony technology," Rob Glaser, CEO and founder of RealNetworks, said in a statement.