RealNetworks Launches Rhapsody Web Services Competition
Enhanced Set of Services Now Available, Including New APIs and over 300,000 RSS feeds;
3-Month Competition to Promote Development of New Applications Integrating Music
SEATTLE — July 13, 2006 — CBS and RealNetworks®, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNWK), the leading creator of digital media services and software, today announced an enhanced set of Rhapsody® Web services APIs and RSS feeds and a new competition promoting the use of these tools to incorporate free playback of full-length songs and internet radio stations directly into Websites, blogs and “mash up” applications in innovative and imaginative ways.
The Rhapsody Web Services Competition will award the creator of the most innovative “Rhapsody Web Jam” with a grand prize of a trip to see their favorite band anywhere in the world. Complete details about the competition, which starts today and runs through October 16, 2006, are available via the Rhapsody Web services site at http://webservices.rhapsody.com, as are a full set of Web services development APIs, tools, reference applications, support and a software developer kit (SDK).
The Rhapsody Web Services Competition will be judged by a top-tier panel including John Musser, founder of ProgrammableWeb.com, Brady Forrest, blogger for the O’Reilly Radar blog, Bill McAleer, managing director of Voyager Capital, and Fred Wilson, partner with Union Square Ventures. In late October, the judges will select the winning Rhapsody Web Jams from among the top submissions over the next three months. Winners will be announced during the Web 2.0 conference, which takes place November 7 — 9 in San Francisco, CA.
In addition to the trip for two anywhere in the world, the grand prize winner will receive a SanDisk Sansa™ e260 MP3 player and a one-year subscription to the award-winning Rhapsody To Go service. Second prize includes a Sonos™ Digital Music System plus a one-year subscription to Rhapsody, and third prize is a SanDisk Sansa e260 player with a one-year subscription to Rhapsody To Go. Additionally, during August and September, the Rhapsody Web services team will spotlight the top two current submissions on the Rhapsody Web services site. Developers of those services will be awarded a SanDisk Sansa e260 player along with a six-month subscription to Rhapsody To Go.
“Rhapsody Web Services offers web designers, bloggers and application developers new APIs and services to deeply enrich the experience of their web pages, gadgets and mashups with music and related content from Rhapsody,” said Ben Rotholtz, general manager, Web services & syndication for RealNetworks.
“Web 2.0 APIs have created the opportunity for an entirely new class of online applications,” said John Musser, founder of ProgrammableWeb. “Rhapsody Web Services extends the spectrum of online applications by providing developers the ability to integrate music into virtually any online experience.”
In late 2005, Real released a free set of Rhapsody Web services tools to enable Web portals, community sites, music sites, and blogs to integrate Rhapsody music services into their Web experience. These services included an initial set of Rhapsody RSS feeds and tools for creating links (called “Rhaplinks”) that enable blogs and Web sites to offer immediate playback of individual songs, full albums, and radio stations via Rhapsody.com.
Throughout 2006, Real has enhanced this initial toolset with the rollout of intuitive Rhaplinks (like http://www.rhapsody.com/whitestripes) that enable automatic playback of music. Now, all you need to know is the name of an artist or album to create a link that will automatically play the selected music when clicked. Real has also introduced new tools for querying Rhapsody metadata and integrating search results inside Web pages and applications.
In addition, Real has made over 300,000 RSS feeds available, including feeds for each artist in the service and feeds that enable Rhapsody users to show their automatically updated personal listening history. These feeds enable consumers to track and share the most popular artists, albums and songs in Rhapsody, to access samplers, playlists and radio stations featuring music from their favorite artists, and to know when new music from those artists is added to the Rhapsody library.
RealNetworks’ partners are already utilizing the Rhapsody Web services tool-set to integrate music throughout their sites and enrich their users’ experience. These partners include RollingStone.com, which offers readers one-click access to music including Rolling Stone-branded radio stations and exclusive Rolling Stone Original live performances, and Classmates.com, which allows its users to create rich personal profiles that include links to favorite songs that can be enjoyed and shared with fellow alumni.
ABOUT REALNETWORKS, INC.
RealNetworks®, Inc. is the leading creator of digital media services and software including Rhapsody®, RealPlayer® 10, and casual PC and mobile games. RealNetworks has more than 2.4 million paid subscribers to its premium digital media http://www.real.com. Broadcasters, network operators, media companies and enterprises use RealNetworks’ products and services to create and deliver digital media to PCs, mobile phones and consumer electronics devices. RealNetworks’ corporate information is located at http://www.realnetworks.com/company.
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