RealNetworks is launching a subscription service called GoldPass, giving paying members access to videos and software updates, the company announced yesterday.

Initially, the service will be available only to US users for $9.95 per month, plus the cost of RealPlayer Plus. RealNetworks RealPlayer 8 Plus costs $29.99.

GoldPass, which will be updated monthly, will include content from Walt Disney's ABCNews.com, on-demand concerts from House of Blues Digital and Time Warner's Sports Illustrated swimsuit video.

RealNetworks hinted that music downloads may become available, saying: "In the coming months, subscribers will have access to a broadening array of software and services."

Paid subscription services for music downloads are being launched by the major recording labels as a way to combat the popularity of free music downloads offered by companies such as Napster. Universal, Sony and EMI all intend launching subscription services by the end of the year.