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RealNetworks Gets into the Internet Appliance Arena

RealNetworks (www.realnetworks.com) has started to position themselves for the post PC- era. This week the company announced a development and distribution agreement with Wavefly Corporation ( www.wavefly.com), an emerging company in digital media distribution in the home. Wavefly is creating solutions which will allow consumers to access digital media on non-PC appliances. Under this agreement Wavefly will integrate RealPlayer 8 into their products.

It is not an exclusive agreement and Amar Patel, Director of Marketing for Wavefly, indicated that the company was interested in creating a product that would be compatible with the industry leading standards. Wavefly, founded in November 1999, released a beta reference design in November 2000 and are in negotiations with OEM developers, but have not yet signed a development deal.

The reference design is based on the concept of streaming music from a PC to a more traditional music delivery device in the home such as a stereo. Wavefly's technology supports both wireless streaming of digital music, as well as downloadable storage space.

A spokesperson for Real suggested that more alliances with companies of this nature should be expected in the future.

In other RealNetworks news, a new president and chief operating officer, Larry Jacobson, will take the helm on February 12. Jacobson most recently was president and chief operating officer of Ticketmaster Corporation. Prior to Ticketmaster, Jacobson was the president of the FOX Television Network from 1997 to 1999, where he played a role driving FOX's network sports strategy and expanding business opportunities for the company. He held several other senior management positions at FOX between 1990 and 1997. Jacobson is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

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