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RealNetworks Launches Subscription Service

RealNetworks today launched RealPlayer GoldPass, a media subscription service. RealPlayer GoldPass will give subscribers access to a combination of software, services and exclusive content, updated monthly.

The subscription service can be purchased for $9.95 a month, but a consumer must also purchase the premium version of RealPlayer to accompany the subscription service making the initial cost to buy in almost $40.00.

Over the past four years, RealNetworks has sold premium versions of its RealPlayer, RealJukebox, and RealDownload software to around two million consumers; however, this represents only a fraction of the 140 million registered RealPlayer users. Real will allow the two million consumers who have already purchased RealPlayer Plus to upgrade to the subscription service for a limited time.

Some of the content features that GoldPass subscribers will gain access to are documentaries produced by ABCNEWS.com, On-demand concerts from HOB, and the GoldPass Screening Room for sneak peaks at new feature films. The GoldPass content offerings will also include UFO and Paranormal Video footage from UFO TV, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Video and Valve's Team Fortress- a popular multiplayer internet game.

It will be interesting to note how many people buy into this subscription service given the scattered variety of content offered and the price. The announcement of the subscription service was accompanied by the final releases of Real Player 8, Real Jukebox 2 and RealDownload 4.

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