updated 09:00 am EST, Thu February 11, 2010
Will provide music, ringback and ring tones
Sprint and RealNetworks have announced an agreement that will give Sprint's mobile customers digital music through a unified storefront. Initially the service will provide full-track music, ringtones, and ringbacks through a simplified user interface. The move is expected to create a better user experience as well as save resources for for Sprint.
The move is another signal of the new corporate strategy at Real that has moved towards mobile and away from the desktop. Although the company was an early pioneer of streaming media, it has been upstaged by more recent arrivals such as Flash, Silverlight, and QuickTime. RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser recently relinquished his CEO role with remaining executives refocusing on RealPlayer and cellphone content.
Real also suprised industry observers with its recent announcement that it would spin off its Rhapsody digital music service.