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RealNetworks doubles online sales

Cyberbiz Brief

Online media company RealNetworks finished its three-week half-price promotion for its digital musicstore and said it sold 3 million songs, more than double its previous rate.

Company cut the price of songs in its online musicstore to 49¢ to promote its new Harmony software, which lets users download songs to Apple’s iPod or any other digital music player. Other online stores’ downloads only work with certain portable music devices.

The 3 million total included songs sold in Real’s download store and via its Rhapsody music subscription service, which maintained its regular price of 79¢ per download.

While most songs in its library now return to 99¢ each, Real will continue to offer at half price 10 songs each week selected by the editors of Rolling Stone, with which it has a strategic partnership.

While promotion apparently pushed Real into a strong second place in the digital music market, behind Apple iTunes, analysts said they’re waiting to see whether that momentum will hold now that the company is not losing money on each track sale.

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