Press Release


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January 7, 2000



Sony and RealNetworks Announce Strategic Alliance for
Secure Electronic Music Distribution



Sony and RealNetworks to Provide 10's of Millions of Consumers With the Ability to Easily Download and Securely Transfer Digital Music From RealJukebox to Sony's Portable Audio Players Through "OpenMG" and "ATRAC3"


CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW, LAS VEGAS, NV, January 7, 2000 - Sony Corporation and RealNetworks(R), Inc. (Nasdaq: RNWK), the recognized leader in media delivery on the Internet, today announced a strategic alliance to enable consumers of RealNetworks RealJukebox with Sony's electronic music distribution technologies to easily download and securely transfer music to Sony's portable audio players.

RealNetworks plans to integrate support for Sony music technologies into RealJukebox, including ATRAC3, its sound compression format, as well as OpenMG copyright protection technology, the Sony Memory Stick and its portable audio players such as "Memory Stick Walkman" and "VAIO Music Clip". This enhancement to RealJukebox is expected to ship in the Summer of 2000, and is to be designed for use with "OpenMG" on PCs to comply with SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) requirements for copyright management. Both RealNetworks and Sony are active members of SDMI.

RealNetworks also expects to provide integrated support for Sony's ATRAC3 codec technology, which will enable consumers to download and play ATRAC3-encoded music on PCs, as well as downloading such music to Sony's portable audio players packaged with OpenMG, like Memory Stick Walkman and VAIO Music Clip. Initially, RealNetworks and Sony plan to develop a version of RealJukebox for Windows 98 and 2000.

"We are thrilled to enter into such a fundamental relationship with Sony and to provide more than 20 million consumers of RealJukebox with one of the most convenient and flexible means of acquiring, storing and experiencing their music," said Phil Barrett, senior vice president, Media Technologies, RealNetworks, Inc. "This collaboration of established industry leaders will significantly accelerate the electronic music distribution revolution."

"It is very promising that RealNetworks, a prominent player in the electronic music distribution arena, supports Sony's ATRAC3 and Memory Stick technologies. We believe this will put further impetus to the growth of the secure electronic content delivery over the Internet. Adoptation of OpenMG to RealJukebox will further strengthen the ties of the two companies in face of this burgeoning market in the digital network era," said Kunitake Ando, president and COO, Personal IT Network Company, Sony.


About Sony's Electronic Music Distribution Technologies

  1. MagicGate: Copyright protection technology for "MG Memory Stick" and compliant products. Authentication technology ensures that protected content is only transferred between compliant devices and media, and protected content is recorded and transferred in an encrypted format to prevent unauthorized copying or playback.

  2. OpenMG: Copyright protection technology on PCs including Digital Rights Management which consists of three key functions: allowing music download through multiple electronic music distribution platforms, enabling to playback music files and CD ripping on PCs (OpenMG Jukebox), and transferring contents securely from PCs to portable devices.

  3. ATRAC3: Sound compression technology achieves roughly twice the data reduction rate of the ATRAC sound compression used for the MiniDisc.

About RealJukebox

With more than 20 million registered users since its release in May 1999, RealJukebox is the leading digital music system on the market allowing consumers to play, record, organize, and search for music all from a single user interface. RealJukebox allows consumers to listen to their favorite music at their convenience, record CD collections to PC hard drives, find and download music from the Internet, organize and personalize music collections and take their music anywhere they wish through the use of portable devices. RealJukebox is available for free download from http://www.real.com/


About RealNetworks

RealNetworks, Inc., based in Seattle, is the recognized leader in media delivery on the Internet. It develops and markets software products and services designed to enable users of personal computers and other consumer electronic devices to send and receive audio, video and other multimedia services using the Web. Consumers can access and experience audio/video programming and download RealNetworks consumer software on the Internet at http://www.real.com. All RealNetworks systems and corporate information is located on the Internet at http://www.realnetworks.com.


About Sony

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $56 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999. Sony's Home Page URL: http://www.sony.co.jp/

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