SEATTLE, April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- RealNetworks, Inc. (RNWK) today announced that LISTEN™, an innovative new app combining music sharing, ringback tones and productivity tools, is now available for U.S. smartphone users via a partnership with T-Mobile, America's Un-carrier. LISTEN is the first direct-to-consumer smartphone app that allows people to customize their callers' experiences. The app enables callers to hear music or status messages chosen especially for them rather than the usual "brrng-brrng" noise that plays as they wait to connect. LISTEN is easy to use, interactive and highly customizable.
"After a successful launch in the U.K. this past November, we're thrilled to officially bring LISTEN to smartphone users in the U.S.," said Max Pellegrini, president of RealNetworks' Mobile Entertainment division. "This new category of entertainment gives music lovers, and their friends and family, an interactive and sharable soundtrack for their calling experiences – plus other intuitive features to help people conveniently communicate when away from their phone."
"T-Mobile customers are huge music fans, and with LISTEN, our customers now have a cool new way to personalize their mobile experience with music and other content," said Mike Sievert, CMO of T-Mobile. "From now on, when John Legere calls me, he's gonna hear Billy Idol's Rebel Yell while my phone rings."
"People listen to a ringback tone for an average of 10 seconds per call – that's a massive opportunity to enhance the calling experience and make it more personal," said Rob Glaser, founder and interim CEO of RealNetworks. "I've already been curating my song selections for friends and family with great music from some of my favorite bands like REM and Green Day. With LISTEN, there's a song for everyone."
With LISTEN, people can:
- Choose music from an extensive, up-to-date catalog of music from Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and various independent labels;
- Easily assign specific songs to different contacts and add images to those contacts;
- Enjoy intuitive features such as an automatic "top callers" list based on the user's call history, and song matching based on music already on their phone;
- Assign a specific voice status alert to tell callers when they're unable to answer their phone, such as while driving or in class;
- Manage how their mobile device responds to inbound calls by easily allowing them to change their status when they can't answer;
- Auto set songs for holidays or special occasions like birthdays – to ensure Mom's birthday is never forgotten; and
- Let friends choose what song they want to hear when they call you.
The LISTEN app is free and available now to T-Mobile customers on iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms, as well as the mobile web. Users can choose from a free basic service or a feature-rich paid service that starts at $2.99 per month.
Not on T-Mobile? Consumers can leave their email address on LISTEN's website to be notified once LISTEN is available through their carrier. For more information on LISTEN, please visit http://www.listen.com.
RealNetworks, in partnership with carriers across the globe, currently manages more than 18 million active global ringback tone subscribers mostly in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In 2002, RealNetworks' WiderThan Division launched the world's first ringback tone service with SK Telekom in South Korea.
About RealNetworks, Inc.
RealNetworks creates innovative products and services that make it easy for people to connect with and enjoy digital media. RealNetworks invented the streaming media category and continues to connect consumers with their digital media both directly and through partners, aiming to support every network, device, media type and social network. Find RealNetworks corporate information at www.realnetworks.com.
RealNetworks and its respective logos are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of RealNetworks. Other products and company names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements relating to the U.S. launch of LISTEN, and expectations regarding its availability and functionality, our estimation of the ringback tone market, and plans to expand our offerings. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from the results predicted include technological factors, consumer acceptance, and competitive factors such as the emergence of new entrants in the market. More information about potential risk factors that could affect RealNetworks' business is included in RealNetworks' annual report on Form 10-K for the most recent year ended December 31, its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and in other reports and documents filed by RealNetworks from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information, which are in effect as of their respective dates.
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