RealNetworks president Larry Jacobson has resigned with immediate effect, the company said yesterday when the firm announced a loss of $10.4 million in Q1 2004.

After working for the Seattle-based digital media company for three years, Jacobson served his notice "to pursue other opportunities and spend more time with his family," RealNetworks said in a statement. Jacobson will continue to work temporarily for the company as a strategic adviser, and RealNetworks has no plans to fill the position of president at this time, it said.

RealNetworks has promoted Dan Sheeran from senior vice president of marketing to senior vice president international to run the company's international efforts.

RealNetworks' $10.4 million net loss for the quarter ended March 31 was almost double its net loss of $5.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2003. On a year-on-year basis, in the first quarter of 2003 the company posted a net loss of $2.8 million.

The company said the lion's share of its losses in the first quarter was due to expenses related to the removal of PGA Tour content from its subscription services (a loss of $4.9 million) and the costs of RealNetworks' antitrust litigation ($2.3 million). Excluding those expenses, the net loss was $3.2 million it said.

RealNetworks lodged a private suit against Microsoft last year, accusing the software giant of using its monopoly powers to control the digital media market.

On a brighter note, revenue for the quarter was $60.4 million, up 29 per cent from the first quarter of 2003 and an increase of 12 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2003, the company said.

RealNetworks credited the growth in revenue to robust consumer services, particularly in music and games. The company said it currently has over 450,000 subscribers to its digital music services.

Additionally, the company's first quarter results include approximately $2 million of revenue associated with the acquisition of GameHouse in January, it said.

RealNetworks expects its momentum to continue and forecast a return to quarterly profitability by the end of 2004, excluding antitrust litigation expenses.