Usually new employees start work where their companies are located, but not Larry Jacobson, the former president of RealNetworks. Jacobson today is being...

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Usually new employees start work where their companies are located, but not Larry Jacobson, the former president of RealNetworks.

Jacobson today is being named chief executive of Cdigix, an Englewood, Colo.-based company that provides digital music and video services to universities. But instead of moving there, Jacobson is moving the company to Seattle.

Cdigix isn’t moving to shorten his commute. The company wants to tap into Seattle’s digital-media talent pool and be closer to its key technology suppliers — Microsoft, RealNetworks and MusicNet, a New York-based music distributor with operations in Seattle.

“Seattle has become somewhat of a digital hub for media, which is a great advancement, I think, for the city and Cdigix,” Jacobson said.

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Jacobson, 46, was president at Real from 2001 until April 2004, then worked for a time as senior vice president at Getty Images. Earlier in his career, he was president of Ticketmaster and Fox Television Network.

Cdigix provides universities with a package of digital media services for students and a legal alternative to illegal downloading. The package includes music subscriptions and track sales, on-demand video, a social-networking service and a platform for distributing educational content.

Cdigix began offering its services in 2002 and they’re now used by 34 universities, including Yale, Tufts, Duke, Rutgers and the universities of Ohio, North Carolina, Maryland, Michigan and Missouri.

About half the schools are paying for students to get free music subscriptions. Others charge monthly fees of $3 to $5 apiece for music and video services. Cdigix gets sales from the services and advertising sales.

“There’s a real momentum in the marketplace for universities to adopt these services,” Jacobson said.

Cdigix has 15 employees but plans to hire more Seattle, using a round of funding from Meritage Private Equity Funds, Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Iron Gate Capital.

Brier Dudley: 206-515-5687 or bdudley@seattletimes.com