RealNetworks slashes song prices

RealNetworks will kick off a high-profile digital music marketing campaign Tuesday, highlighting the new iPod-compatible technology that has swung the company into conflict with Apple Computer.

For a limited time, RealNetworks will offer song downloads from its music store for 49 cents, along with half-price albums. A nationwide print, radio and Web marketing campaign will promote the offer, along with a Web site touting "freedom of choice" for online music consumers.

The campaign is the second wave of publicity around the company's "Harmony" technology, which effectively recreated a version of Apple's proprietary copy-protection technology without permission. That has allowed RealNetworks to be the first non-Apple store that can distribute songs directly compatible with the iPod music player, despite strong protests from Apple itself. "To me, it's not ambiguous that this is the right thing for the industry and the right thing for the consumer, and so we're happy to take the case forward to the court of public opinion," RealNetworks Chief Executive Officer Rob Glaser said.

News source: C|Net News.com

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