SEATTLE, WA. (RealNetworks Inc) - RealNetworks, Inc. today announced that its Rhapsody Internet
jukebox service and its groundbreaking Harmony Technology, an innovation that gives consumers freedom of choice in how they enjoy digital music, have received top honors at the first annual Billboard Digital
Rhapsody was recognized as the 'Best Downloadable or Subscription Music Service' and RealNetworks' Harmony Technology was honored as the 'Digital Music Innovation of the Year' during the Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference and Awards held in Los Angeles on Friday.
"We are proud to receive recognition for our world-class music subscription service, Rhapsody, and will continue to innovate to make sure it remains in a class by itself," said Richard Wolpert, Chief Strategy Officer, RealNetworks. "With Harmony, we knew that we were doing something groundbreaking. It is gratifying to see both consumers and the industry show us their enthusiasm and appreciation for Harmony and its ability to allow music fans to get the music they want and play it on any device they choose."
The Billboard Digital Entertainment Awards honor innovation, entrepreneurship, digital gaming, music, film, television and video in 27 market-leading categories of digital entertainment. Judges for the awards were comprised of an elite group of industry executives and leaders from the digital entertainment industry, representing the creative community, major entertainment companies, academic institutions and the media.
The awards were announced at the Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference and Awards conference, which was jointly organized by Billboard, the international authority on music, video and digital entertainment, and Digital Media Wire, the digital industry's leading news organization and events company.
Rhapsody: 'Best Downloadable or Subscription Music Service'
The award for 'Best Downloadable or Subscription Music Service' is the latest in a string of honors for the Rhapsody Internet jukebox service. In 2003, Rhapsody received several industry awards, including PC Magazine's Editors' Choice Award, a PC World Best Buy Award, and a PC World 2003 World Class Award for 'Best Streaming Audio Service.' In addition to recognition from industry publications and technology reviewers, Rhapsody has also proven popular with music consumers.
During the third quarter of this year, Rhapsody customers played over 202 million on-demand songs, representing a 19% increase over the previous quarter. RealNetworks remains the market leader in digital music subscriptions, with more than 625,000 paying subscribers for its Rhapsody and RadioPass music services.
Harmony Technology: 'Digital Music Innovation of the Year'
The award for 'Digital Music Innovation of the Year' for RealNetworks' Harmony Technology signals that the digital entertainment industry at large recognizes the tremendous advancement and role that Harmony is playing in bringing compatibility and interoperability to the online music market. Consumers have purchased millions of Harmony-enabled downloads through the RealPlayer Music Store since the technology's launch earlier this year.
Harmony Technology enables consumers to play songs downloaded from the RealPlayer Music Store on more than 100 different portable digital music devices. Generally speaking, Harmony supports any device that uses the Apple FairPlay DRM, the Microsoft Windows Media Audio DRM, or the RealNetworks Helix DRM. With Harmony, the RealPlayer Music Store supports more secure devices than any other music store on the Internet, including the iPod and iPod mini, and products from Creative Labs, Rio, RCA, palmOne, iRiver, Dell, Gateway, and Samsung.
RealPlayer 10.5 is the first consumer product to use Harmony Technology. RealNetworks also plans to integrate Harmony technology into the next version of its market-leading Rhapsody service.