RealPlayer still sees 10,000 UK downloads per day
2nd Nov 2011 | 16:23
But no more streaming
RealPlayer hits the grand old age of 16 this year and RealNetworks' managing director revealed to TechRadar that between 8,000 and 12,000 UK internet users now download the software every day.
The company is on track to shift 100 million copies of RealPlayer globally this year – which may surprise anyone who abandoned the software after its liberal attitude to changing users' settings without asking for permission and making itself the go-to software for, well, basically anything.
But where RealPlayer was once the go-to programme for streaming video online, it's now largely been replaced by Flash; these days, users are opting for the RealPlayer's video downloading know-how, which makes it easy to save DRM-free video from online to your desktop, as well as easy sharing and converting for use on smartphones and tablets.
"In any given month we have over 25 million unique users," said MD Ken Murphy. When asked if these are recurring users or one-off downloads, Murphy couldn't say exactly because – he told us – the company doesn't track how people use the software.
The surprising figures come at a time of change at RealNetworks, having just announced the appointment of a new CEO in the shape of Thomas Nielsen, previously of Adobe.
And with the new leadership comes a new version of the RealPlayer software, RealPlayer 15, which launches on 15 November.
Although we couldn't eke any official details about exactly what's new, head of consumer software and services Johan Hansen told us, "It's an exciting new free product, and it offers something that no one else has on the market."
When quizzed on how difficult it is for RealPlayer to shake off its dodgy spyware-esque associations, Hansen conceded that it's a tricky one.
"We're internationally recognised but not for what RealPlayer is now," he said.
"A lot of people don't realise what RealPlayer is capable of now, but that's changing and we're really seeing a renaissance as people realise the ease of use the software offers for downloading video."
RealNetworks is also branching out, having recently launched Rinse, a programme that cleans up your iTunes media files at the click of a mouse button.