MICROSOFT AND PRESSPLAY TEAM TO DELIVER COBRANDED MSN MUSIC SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
pressplay to Use Microsoft Technology, Offering Windows Media Audio And Windows Media Digital Rights Management
REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK, July 12, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. and pressplay, the online music service company, today announced that MSN® Music will be an affiliate of pressplay’s online music subscription service, which is set to launch later this summer. pressplay (a joint venture of Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group) and MSN will offer a cobranded pressplay and MSN Music site that will provide the millions of visitors to MSN Music with a broad catalog of music from chart-topping artists in multiple genres as well as unique programming through a subscription service. In addition, through this agreement, pressplay will be able to offer songs in Microsoft® Windows Media™ format for high-quality audio and Windows Media digital rights management (DRM) technology for content protection, which will provide a seamless experience for consumers visiting MSN and other pressplay affiliates.
MSN launched its first release of MSN Music (http://music.msn.com/) in April and has continued to add new features to offer music fans exclusive content and a unique listening experience. Through the affiliate relationship, MSN Music will take online listening to the next level by allowing music enthusiasts to search for the music they want to listen to on demand and to create and share personalized playlists from pressplay’s extensive and growing catalog. The service will offer on-demand access to downloaded and streamed music.
“We’re excited to offer consumers the next phase of the MSN Music online music strategy. This agreement is a natural extension of the popular services we offer consumers today on MSN Music,” said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN. “This cobranded subscription music service will give everyone who visits MSN Music on-demand access to pressplay’s enormous catalog of music, in addition to the extensive music library that consumers are enjoying today.” “Our relationship with Microsoft offers us access to one of the world’s largest consumer networks, via MSN, as well as high-quality audio with Windows Media and DRM technology, which strengthens the pressplay service offering,” said Andy Schuon, president and CEO of pressplay.
For music enthusiasts, the pressplay and MSN Music site will offer users the largest catalog of music on the Web today to be available on-demand via the Internet. The benefits of Windows Media can be enjoyed by virtually anyone on the Web today because Windows Media is supported on many leading PC jukeboxes and players, including the more than 350 million distributed copies of Windows Media Player. Windows Media DRM technology, proven in more than two years of commercial use, has delivered more than 8.5 million secure transactions involving protected music and movies.
pressplay is a music service company that offers on-demand online music subscription services through affiliates including MSN and Yahoo! Announced in May 2000, pressplay is an equally held joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group (a unit of Vivendi Universal), and is based in New York City and Los Angeles. SME, UMG and other music companies will separately provide their music to pressplay on a nonexclusive basis. The service is expected to launch in North America during the summer of 2001.
MSN is the world’s most popular destination on the Web, attracting more than 230 million visitors per month. Available in 33 markets and 17 languages, MSN provides consumers with their home on the Web — where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.