IBM and Realnetworks create new digital media solution

IBM and Realnetworks create new digital media solution

The integration of the Real 10 Digital Platform and IBM's WebSphere, will enable media companies, network operators, and other businesses to create, protect, and deliver on demand digital audio and video services.

This solution will provide these companies with the capability to manage their digital assets more easily. It will help business users dramatically reduce the start-up costs and time typically associated with deploying digital media services such as Internet-delivered TV programming, mobile music services and in-car digital music.

IBM and RealNetworks believe that technology will also let companies digitise, manage and secure content assets, and distribute/sell those assets without having to create the technology infrastructure from scratch.

It is due to be available worldwide in the first half of the year in a market that IDC predicts will reach almost $1 billion by 2007.

Rob Glaser, CEO of RealNetworks Inc. is very pleased with this new relationship with IBM: "Together we will enable our global customers to quickly offer secure and high-quality media services to their consumers whenever they want it and wherever they want it - at their TV, their PC, in their car, or with their phone."

Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive of the IBM Software Group added: "We are excited to be working with RealNetworks to enable our global clients to take full advantage of the burgeoning market for digital media.

"The Real 10 platform, combined with IBM's open standards-based middleware, will offer consumers a flexible solution tailored to their individual needs."

The new software will reduce the complexity and time needed to build a commercially viable solution. It will provide rights holders and service providers with a much simplified and more affordable approach to getting their digital media products directly into consumer's hands.

In addition, it will include open APIs to enable third-party applications, such as customer support, subscription management, and security, to interface easily with the on demand digital media services. This will offer customers ease and flexibility in service implementation and provides a path to expand the solution over time.

The IBM middleware platform provides technology for companies to build online storefronts and take payments electronically. It is also a flexible e-commerce system, and it lets companies organise "unstructured" data, such as film clips, video and email and link them to other digital media applications.

The RealAudio and RealVideo 10 technology, which is the company's newest audio and video software used for compressing large media files into smaller ones for transport over Internet Protocol networks.

This technology is arriving at a time when the online entertainment industry seems to be taking off again.

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