RealNetworks, owner of the Rhapsody online music service, cut its annual sales forecast for the second time and delayed the planned spinoff of its games division amid an economic slump.

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RealNetworks, owner of the Rhapsody online music service, cut its annual sales forecast for the second time and delayed the planned spinoff of its games division amid an economic slump.

The company will wait until market conditions recover before finalizing the spinoff, instead of making the move by year-end, Chief Executive Officer Rob Glaser said Wednesday after RealNetworks reported its second straight quarterly loss.

The company blamed “continued deterioration” in the market for online advertising, weak consumer and corporate spending, and a stronger dollar for the lower forecast. Its downloadable music unit is losing market share to Apple’s iTunes. RealNetworks’ software for playing and copying music and videos is struggling to compete with Apple, Adobe Systems and Microsoft.

“They’re in businesses that are just not good businesses, like music subscriptions, which hasn’t made any money ever,” said Andy Hargreaves at Pacific Crest Securities. The Portland-based analyst rates the shares “sector perform” and doesn’t own them. “It’s a combination of that and the economic impact on the businesses that are good, like the casual games business.”

The third-quarter net loss was $4.5 million, or 3 cents a share, after a profit of $4.34 million, or 3 cents, a year earlier. Sales gained 4.7 percent to $152 million, Seattle-based RealNetworks said in a statement.

Analysts’ loss estimates averaged 3 cents a share on sales of $153.8 million.

Sales for the year will be $602 million to $609 million, missing a July forecast of at least $620 million. The company predicted a loss of 3 cents to 6 cents a share. The previous estimate was 2 cents to 6 cents. Analysts anticipated sales of $622 million and a loss of 3 cents, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Demand for pricier items such as ad campaigns and corporate-network software has declined as companies tighten spending, Glaser said in an interview.

Consumers remain willing to buy $1 songs or $12.99 music subscriptions, he said. Still, Glaser expects the company’s growth in consumer revenue may be hurt by the economy.

“We are going to have a downturn that will be more severe than any we’ve seen in a generation,” Glaser said.

While the company is trying to lower some costs, Glaser plans to do more acquisitions during the slump. Some target companies are willing to sell at a reduced price because they have less access to funding right now, he said.

“We have a very strong balance sheet — so now is the time, either through internal opportunities or acquisitions, to leverage that and not be so conservative that you lose opportunities,” Glaser said.

RealNetworks predicted fourth-quarter sales of $150 million to $157 million. The company expects to lose 1 cent to 4 cents a share. The average estimates had been for $169.5 million in sales and a loss of 1 cent.

RealNetworks on Wednesday also named John Barbour as president of the games division. Barbour had been president of U.S. operations for Toys R Us.