NY Times is reporting that RealNetworks has put its digital music offerings on sale at half price as part of an aggressive strategy to force its way onto Apple Computer's popular iPod digital music player.
At the same time, the company acknowledged that the sale - which lowers the price of songs on the online RealPlayer Music Store to 49 US cents and the cost of most albums to $4.99, tentatively through until the US Labor Day holiday - will have an impact on the company's finances.
Rob Glaser, RealNetworks' founder and chief executive, admitted that the promotion was a bit like that old joke "about losing money on each sale and making it up on volume." The company planned to report that it expected the marketing campaign, called Freedom of Choice, which will be advertised extensively, to increase its projected loss by one US cent during the current quarter.
In July, RealNetworks said it was adding its Harmony software to the Windows version of its RealPlayer audio-video software, making it possible for iPod users to buy music from the RealPlayer Music Store and play it back on the iPod.
This move is interesting bearing in mind Real's battle with Window's Media. Frankly, I think they have lost and I "really" get annoyed with the advertising and the player's habit of kidnapping other files to play as default Real. Yes, I know you can disable it. It is just the practice. No, I am not a Real worshiper.