Home » News » Business » RealNetworks acquires SONY NetServices
RealNetworks and Sony announced that RealNetworks has acquired Sony NetServices, a joint venture between Sony DADC and Sony Europe. Sony NetServices provides mobile operators with end-to-end white label digital music services that are available today in eight countries throughout Europe. This acquisition is part of RealNetworks' strategy to extend its global leadership in digital entertainment delivery on the mobile platform, and follows RealNetworks' recent acquisition of mobile entertainment leader WiderThan.
Acquiring Sony NetServices substantially strengthens RealNetworks' market position in Europe, and adds new technological capabilities that enhance Real's capacity to offer mobile operators access to its growing portfolio of media solutions, including music on demand (MOD), video on demand (VOD), ringback tones (RBT), games and other solutions. The companies' combined offering will enable operators to deliver unique mobile music experiences tailored to subscribers' personal music tastes.
"Sony NetServices has created a world-class platform for delivering mobile entertainment solutions to leading mobile operators throughout Europe," said John Giamatteo, President of Technology Products and Solutions and International Operations, RealNetworks. "We believe the addition of Sony NetServices' technology and platform to our earlier acquisition of WiderThan places RealNetworks at the center of the emerging mobile entertainment space, and extends our geographic ability to serve mobile operators around the world."
Sony NetServices' key offering is a personalized music streaming platform, previously marketed as StreamMan by Sony. StreamMan, which was the world's first convergent music service, offers consumers the ability to download full songs or stream music to their 3G mobile handset as well as their PC. A number of European mobile operators have launched music services powered by the platform since its introduction in 2004, including Vodafone and TeliaSonera Finland.
The Growing Market for Mobile Entertainment
Today's news will allow RealNetworks to benefit from growth opportunities for personalized digital entertainment on the mobile phone, a market driven by the explosion in availability and connectivity of mobile devices and the rapid expansion of content available for mobile distribution.
"Mobile music is gaining sizable momentum in the major European markets," said Seamus McAteer, chief product architect and senior analyst, M:Metrics. "In March alone, over 19 million Europeans side-loaded music onto their mobile handsets, while 4.4 million downloaded music over the air. Services that address both desires are ideally positioned to capitalize on clear consumer demand for easy ways to discover and play music on a mobile device."