RealNetworks announced this morning that its 49-cent online music service promotion has garnered more than 3 million sales in 3 weeks, positioning the company's RealPlayer Music Store as a contender in the growing market for online digital media services. "Music fans who want a choice are turning to Real," said Rob Glaser, CEO and founder of RealNetworks. "We are the only place consumers can buy music and enjoy it on any popular portable device, we offer the best price on the Top Ten, and we provide the most compelling subscription music service, RHAPSODY."
Three weeks ago, RealNetworks unveiled RealPlayer 10.5 with Harmony Technology, a Windows-based media player and jukebox that integrates with RealNetworks' online music service. Users can interact with more than 100 popular portable music players. And the Harmony Technology makes it possible to purchase songs from the RealPlayer Music Store and copy them to an iPod, which was previously closed to non-Apple software. RealNetworks promoted the software and service with a 49-cent music sale that lasted 3 weeks.
Starting today, most music on the RealPlayer Music Store returns to its usual 99-cent price, although the company announced that the top 10 songs would be available for 49 cents indefinitely. The RealPlayer Music Store offers more than 640,000 songs for purchase. By comparison, both Apple iTunes and Microsoft MSN Music offer more than 1 million songs.
Meanwhile, a RealNetworks-commissioned Global Market Insite survey found that more than 96 percent of portable digital music player owners say they should be able to transfer music they purchase online to any portable device. Furthermore, 66 percent say they'll shop only with those online music services that offer wide compatibility with portable devices. The dig here, somewhat obviously, is at Apple, which makes its iTunes Music Store compatible only with its iPod; not coincidentally, the iPod is also natively incompatible with every other online music store.