RealNetworks' recent <A HREF="http://www.billboard.com/bb/biz/archivesearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000613392">$.49 download promotion</A> at its RealPlayer 10 Music Store generated more t

RealNetworks' recent $.49 download promotion at its RealPlayer 10 Music Store generated more than 3 million paid downloads over three weeks, according to the Seattle-based technology company. The company, which typically charges $.99 per song download, would not reveal sales figures for a typical three-week period but says there was a "four-fold increase in the number of users."

The promotion began Aug. 17 and ran through Monday (Sept. 6) to promote Harmony, the new technology that makes tracks from the RealPlayer Music Store compatible with Apple Computer's iPod and more than 100 other portable music players.

Sean Ryan, RealNetworks' VP of music services, says album sales -- which were discount-priced at $4.99 during the promotion -- increased "significantly" during the three weeks.

"There were more buyers who purchased more tracks, with more tracks purchased per each transaction," says Ryan. "If the industry wants to encourage album sales, lower prices appear to," he added.

Today (Sept. 9), the RealPlayer Music Store will begin featuring the "Rolling Stone Top 10 Hot List," a mix of tracks that includes $.49 selections compiled by the magazine's editorial staff. The inaugural Rolling Stone list includes Beastie Boys' "Triple Trouble," Kevin Lyttle's "Turn Me On," Sleater-Kinney's "Off With Your Head" and tracks by Maroon 5, Ray Charles and Nelly.

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