In an effort to introduce more users to its online music store, Seattle-based RealNetworks has partnered with Heineken USA to offer free music downloads. Starting May 1, selected 12-packs of Heineken

In an effort to introduce more users to its online music store, Seattle-based RealNetworks has partnered with Heineken USA to offer free music downloads. Starting May 1, selected 12-packs of Heineken will include a unique code redeemable for two free tracks from Real's RealPlayer Music Store.

Heineken USA, based in White Plains, N.Y., is supporting the effort with a marketing program that includes national ads on television, print, radio and online, as well as on-package, in-store and on-premise promotions.

This promotion strategy marks the first time Real has partnered with a consumer brand in order to channel users to its online store. Apple Computer pursued a similar promotion strategy to market its iTunes Music Store when it partnered with Pepsi this January.

The RealPlayer Music Store offers more than 500,000 songs, including its "Down the Alley" service, which includes exclusive live performances and interviews with established and emerging artists. The store is integrated into RealPlayer10, the latest media player from RealNetworks. Real also operations the online music jukebox Rhapsody, which has attracted over 450,000 paid subscribers.

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