The Seattle company is offering customers a service that will put together short photo-video montages from the photos and videos they shoot with their camera phones.
RealNetworks is pegging its latest turnaround bid to a simple premise: People accumulate more photos and videos than they know what to do with.
The Seattle company, a pioneer in early Internet media streaming, on Tuesday is set to release RealTimes, a program that automatically groups a user’s photos and videos around themes and packages them into shareable montages.
“Everyone is walking around with a camera phone in their pocket all the time,” said Rob Glaser, RealNetworks founder and chief executive. “You’re creating hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures a year, and tens if not hundreds of videos a year. And what do you do with that?”
In Glaser’s vision, RealTimes will provide an easy way to share important moments culled from that pile of digital content. The software is designed to identify themes in photos and videos, such as a set of images that were taken in a short time or at a particular location; identify the best photos and video snippets; and tie them together in a slideshow with video that can be set to music.
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The software, available on a range of mobile, desktop and TV-mounted platforms, from Android and iOS phones to Windows PCs, is free for basic use and 2 gigabytes of included media storage. Users who want more storage space and ability to customize photo and video montages beyond the default 30 seconds can opt for monthly subscriptions that range from $4.99 to $9.99 a month.
The launch of RealTimes is the latest effort to right the ship at RealNetworks, a company that’s been burning through cash, and employees, in recent years. At the end of 2014, the company employed 769 people, down from more than 1,700 in 2008.
RealNetworks has struggled to remain relevant in an age of increasingly ubiquitous streaming-video and -audio providers. The dot-com bust hobbled many of RealNetworks’ customers. Apple and Microsoft became fierce competitors in the streaming-media business, followed by Web natives like Netflix, Spotify and Pandora.
RealNetworks hasn’t turned a profit on an annual basis since 2010. Glaser stepped down as CEO that year, returning to the role in 2012 after the tenure of two short-lived chiefs.
The company in the past three years has released a slate of products, including a Facebook casino game, a mobile ringtone service and an online-hosted video service that rebranded its iconic media player. But in a quarterly earnings report released early this month, the company said it has “not generated significant revenue from any of these new products and services.”
Glaser acknowledged that the figures alone present a gloomy picture. “But we know what we’re doing,” he said. “One of the decisions we’ve taken is we’re going to really focus on our consumer product offerings.”