RealNetworks is offering 25 free music downloads to people who try its Rhapsody jukebox software.
The company is offering access to its million-track music library as a loss leader hoping to tempt more people into the downloading world.
"This is the kind of bold thinking that first catapulted Real to the top of the digital landscape 10 years ago," said Richard Doherty, research director at analyst firm Envisioneering Group.
"Allowing anyone to have a Rhapsody jukebox at no cost, and creating a network that lets people listen to and legally share music, holds the promise of creating a huge appeal for Real and expanding the music subscription model like never before."
Some download companies have shied away from offering free downloads since media companies find difficulty with a royalty-free system.
"We believe that, once consumers experience Rhapsody and share it with their friends, many people will upgrade to one of our premium Rhapsody tiers," said Rob Glaser, chairman of RealNetworks.
"We thank our partners in the music industry who worked closely with us to create an innovative and win-win approach that works for both the industry and consumers."
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