Emerging Technology

1990s video giant RealPlayer hopes to make a comeback with a new cloud-based product

Andrew Sadauskas /

RealPlayer publishers RealNetworks is hoping to make a comeback in the online video field by launching a cloud-based version of its once-dominant streaming video player.

During the late 1990s, RealPlayer, along with rivals Apple QuickTime and Microsoft Windows Player, dominated the market for online streaming video.

However, against intense competition from Flash video sites such as Google’s YouTube, television download services from Apple, Amazon and NetFlix, as well as video clips on social media sites such as Facebook, demand for RealPlayer has dried up.

During its second quarter results, the company announced a net loss of $US18.5 million off revenues of $US49.9 million.

Like many aging video stars, the company has turned to Las Vegas for inspiration for a comeback, as interim chief executive Rob Glaser explained in a statement.

“Last week’s launch of GameHouse Casino Plus with the Golden Dreams Sweepstakes, the first social casino game to offer consumers a chance to win large cash prizes, was a major step forward in our program to introduce compelling and innovative new products and services.

“We think that Casino Plus, along with other new products that we will be rolling out this year, will set the stage to return RealNetworks to growth.”

Aside from its gaming efforts, the company is attempting to make a comeback in the streaming video market with a paid cloud-based video storage service called RealPlayer Cloud.

Subscribers to the video service can then replay their videos on apps for a range of platforms, including Android, iOS, PC, Web and Roku.

However, whether the new product can revive the company’s flagging fortunes remains to be seen.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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