MWC 2014: RealPlayer Cloud Video Service Goes Global

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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The video streaming pioneer reinvents itself, offers simple video storage and sharing

RealNetworks, the company behind RealPlayer – the very first application used to stream video online – has reinvented itself as a cloud-based video service.

RealPlayer Cloud combines the elements of YouTube and Dropbox, allowing users to store their private videos, play them on any device and share them with family and friends anywhere in the world.

The service has been available in the US and Canada since September 2013, and is now ready to be introduced to an international audience.

RealPlayer Cloud is available in any browser and through apps for PC, Android and iOS.  It is also compatible with Google’s Chromecast and digital media players made by the US electronics company Roku.

“We’re excited to bring RealPlayer Cloud to consumers worldwide. In just five short months, we’ve experienced extensive user growth and now have more than 500,000 users in the U.S. and Canada,” said Rob Glaser, founder and interim CEO of RealNetworks. “Clearly there is a real need and demand for RealPlayer Cloud.”

Like a phoenix

RealNetworks was founded in 1994 by Glaser, a former Microsoft executive who left the CEO post in 2009, but came back two years later in a bid to  save the company which had struggled to adopt to the changing online video market.

Real_Networks_HQThe company’s brand new product allows users to conveniently store their videos online, with the option of automatic backup from mobile devices. RealPlayer Cloud re-encodes video before every playback, taking into account available bandwidth and storage, to give viewers the highest quality experience possible, no matter what device or screen size.

Users can also share videos, and the recipient will not have to install any software to play it back.

Since Monday morning, RealPlayer Cloud has been available in English, French, German and Spanish. Italian, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese versions will follow soon.

New users will receive 2GB of free storage, and more is available through a monthly subscription starting at $4.99 (£3).

For the global launch, RealNetworks has introduced a referral system, where existing users earn 1GB of storage every time a friend or colleague joins the service. New customers joining this way will also get an extra 1GB.

It has also added the option to share videos through SMS, obviously limited to mobile devices.

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