RealNetworks Goes After iPod With Price War
RealNetworks on Tuesday halved the prices for downloaded songs to $0.49 to win customers away from Apple Computer’s iPod craze. RealNetworks has recently launched its “Harmony” technology which makes its song downloads compatible with Apple’s iPod technology. Apple currently has a firm grasp on the online music download market with more than 100 million downloads sold to date.
“As of today we are compatible with all of the iPods and all of the versions of the firmware running on the iPods,” Richard Wolpert, chief strategy officer for Real, told Reuters.
Reuters reports that the pricing cutting will hurt Real in the shortrun as “RealNetworks warned its third-quarter loss could be 1 cent per share wider than previously expected. The company did not break out the likely costs of the campaign. The temporary discount, making songs 49 cents and most albums $4.99, came at the same time as the full public launch of the newest version of the company’s RealPlayer jukebox software.”
RealNetworks, which distirbutes the Google toolbar it its downloads, has joined the fight for online music downloading along with Yahoo partner Napster to take a bite out of the Apple. Last week Napster’s parent company, Roxio, told news services that it will sell its consumer software division for $80 million and focus wholly on its Napster digital music business in the future.
Starting last Christmas Roxio began operated Napster as a paid digital music download and subscription service, partnering with Yahoo and other large web publishers. Now, along with RealNetworks, Napster is a direct competitor of Apple Computer’s iTunes.