updated 9/9/2004 9:28:36 AM ET 2004-09-09T13:28:36

RealNetworks Inc. is ending a temporary promotion that slashed the price of its downloadable songs to 49 cents, but bargain hunters will still be able to find some deals at its online music store.

The company said Wednesday that it will continue to offer 10 of the most popular songs on its Web site at the cheaper price, in a promotion with music magazine Rolling Stone.

The Seattle-based company launched the 49 cents-per-song promotion on Aug. 17 to compete with market leader Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes service.  RealNetworks normally charges 99 cents for individual song downloads, the same price as Apple.  Users who pay for RealNetworks' monthly subscription service, called Rhapsody, can buy tracks for 79 cents apiece.

RealNetworks also said Wednesday that it sold 3 million tracks over three weeks of the 49-cent promotion, almost double its normal sales. D an Sheeran, a senior vice president with the company, said the cost of the money-losing promotion was in line with expectations, but he couldn't be more specific.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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