Compaq, RealNetworks ink subscription deal

Compaq Computer is teaming with RealNetworks to promote the media company's new online subscription service, dubbed RealOne.

Under a deal expected to be announced Wednesday, RealNetworks plans to become the default media player on all Compaq Presario computers. Its software would be featured on the Presario interface, and the entertainment hot key on Presario keyboards would also take people straight to RealNetworks' site. In the past, the entertainment key linked to a Compaq page.

Compaq, meanwhile, would earn revenue from consumers that subscribe to RealNetworks' RealOne service, which launched last week with a wide range of music, news, sports and entertainment partners, including CNET Networks, the publisher of News.com.

Although RealNetworks has had distribution deals with PC makers such as Gateway and Sony, this would be the first to promote the media company's content in addition to its technology, said RealNetworks President Larry Jacobsen.

"When RealOne launched last week, it put our business and the PC business in a different relationship," he said in an interview, adding the company is in talks with other manufacturers, Internet service providers and cable companies to strike similar deals. "Compaq will find new revenues by evangelizing RealOne content. This is significant because they see a business model in that."

News source: CNet

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