Real sees revenues up, losses narrow

More sideswipes at Redmond

Real Networks saw losses narrow to $2m in its most recent quarter, despite an increase in costs related to antitrust litigation. Q4 FY2004 income was $72.5m, up 34 per cent year-on-year. Without the antitrust litigation, which cost Real almost $3m, the company would have been in the black.

Real has 1.55 million paying subscribers, with 700,000 for the Rhapsody and Real Premium services. The subs bring in $41.9 of the $72.5m. Founder and CEO Rob Glazer said that Rhapsody subscribers clocked up 239 million song playbacks.

Games and music provided Real with the most growth, with games distribution and publishing up 156 per cent year-on-year to $10 million, while music accounted for $21 million of the $60.7 million in consumer revenues in the quarter

The business side saw revenues fall 13 per cent.

"This decline in part reflects the illegal, anticompetitive business practices of our primary competitor, remedies for which we are pursuing in the courts," said CFO Roy Goodman.

That said, Real snagged $11.76m on business sales, which included its Helix software to Vodafone and BT, and said its goal is to roll out carrier grade software for both wireline broadband and mobile providers.

Deferred revenue fell to $30m in the full fiscal year.

Real will spent $15m on antitrust litigation in this fiscal year, both inside the US and overseas. The company has held on to the concession granted by the EU, which ordered Microsoft to ship a version of Windows that didn't play Windows Media Files. ®

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