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Why Real networks is oh-so hip. Not.

“Real is waging a grassroots battle where there is no grass. Apple is not Microsoft (MSFT). There is no sense of outrage among consumers. While it’s tempting to cast Steve Jobs as a scheming, egomaniacal villain, the fact is that most people love Apple and its hip products. And shameless price cutting, even if it’s just a short-term sales promotion, feels like the last refuge of a failed marketing strategy. It does nothing to enhance the company’s prickly brand image, something that Real needs to improve as digital music gradually moves into the mainstream. “At the end of the day, starting a price war is going to bite RealNetworks on the ass,” Peacock predicts. “Why would you want to Wal-Mart (WMT) your brand?”

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