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Ad sales drive RealNetworks revenue doubling

Net media company announces stock split, NetZip acquisition too

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Streaming media specialist RealNetworks yesterday saw its revenues more than double on the back of increased advertising sales during its latest completed financial quarter, Q4 1999. For the three months ended 31 December, RealNetworks notched up sales of $43.5 million, up from the $20.6 million it made in the same period last year. That led to profits of $6.1 million, knocked down from $8.3 million after a one-off item for an acquisition. Last year it posted a loss of $2.2 million. On the back of the results, RealNetworks announced a two-for-one stock split, and the acquisition of privately-held Netzip in a stock-swap valued at $268 million. NetZip develops software that improves the performance and flexibility of the downloading process -- like Netscape's SmartDownload technology, NetZip's software allows downloading to be paused and picked up later, even when a new connection has been made. It also offers media preview software. It's not hard to foresee RealNetworks building such tools into 'Pro' versions of its RealPlayer and RealJukebox software. The company noted that sales of such versions are up, with more users choosing to pay for more feature-filled versions of software RealNetworks offers for free. ®

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