by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor


RealNetworks unveiled its Media Commerce Suite June 20, enabling secure distribution of movies, music and other digital content to its 200 million RealPlayer users worldwide. The company says the RealSystem Media Commerce Suite platform offers the most complete and flexible commerce solution available for the secure licensing and delivery of digital media. The RealSystem Media Commerce Suite includes products and services for secure media packaging, license generation and high-quality content delivery to an in-place media player base across all major platforms. It empowers rights holders to create a range of robust business models for distributing rich media to the broadest worldwide audience, and will create many new ways for consumers to access and enjoy digital media.


Built on RealSystem iQ, the RealSystem Media Commerce Suite enables rights holders to distribute movies, music and other digital content to RealPlayer users. Over 15 million copies of RealPlayer enabled with the Media Commerce Suite functionality have already been installed since March of 2001. The Media Commerce Suite extends the RealSystem and RealPlayer open architecture to accommodate the incorporation of a wide range of rights management systems. It easily integrates into all types of existing infrastructures and back-end systems, supporting a broad set of business models including purchase, rental, video on-demand, and subscription services.

The RealSystem Media Commerce Suite launches with support from an array of major media companies and rights holders. The RealSystem Media Commerce Suite will provide the security for MusicNet, the online music subscription service from AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann, EMI and RealNetworks scheduled for release later this year.

A RealNetworks vs. Microsoft rivalry toward secure digital media distribution supremacy seems to be heating up. This announcement comes on the heels of Microsoft’s June 13 announcement that Windows Media is now the most popular DRM technology worldwide for music and video. RealNetworks boasts more than 200 million RealPlayer users worldwide, while Microsoft said its Windows Media DRM technology, with 7.5 million transactions, is the leader in secure digital media distribution.

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