UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP AND MICROSOFT CORP ANNOUNCE LANDMARK AGREEMENT
Innovative Deal Puts Artists and Music First by Sharing Portion of Zune Device Sales
New York, New York, November 9, 2006..Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, announced today an agreement which creates a groundbreaking, new revenue stream for UMG and its artists: in addition to the standard payments it will make to UMG for the sale of its music, Microsoft will also pay UMG a portion of Zune device sales. Microsoft plans to offer a similar arrangement to other music labels and their artists.
“This agreement with Microsoft around Zune is a significant milestone for our company and our artists,” stated Doug Morris, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group. “This move demonstrates there can be a win-win situation where consumers have a great experience while labels and artists are also fairly compensated. We applaud Microsoft for its innovative and consumer-friendly Zune store and device.”
“At a time of transition for the music industry, Zune aims to be a leader in supporting artists and enabling the creative possibilities associated with connected entertainment. We look forward to working with the industry to make sure labels and the artists have a very bright future,” said Bryan Lee, Corporate VP Microsoft Entertainment & Devices. “We believe that the music consumer will appreciate knowing that when they buy a Zune device, they are helping to support their favorite artists.”
The Zune device and online store launches next week on Tuesday, November 14 and will include content from all major and independent music labels including UMG’s extensive library of musical content from its world-renowned roster of chart-topping artists.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s largest music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 75 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Music Group, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division, and Universal Music Mobile.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.
Zune is Microsoft’s music and entertainment platform that provides an end-to-end solution for Connected Entertainment. The Zune experience includes a 30GB digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service, and a foundation for an online community that will enable music fans to discover new music. Inspired by the vast and varied community of music fans, Zune focuses on helping emerging artists shape the digital canvas. Zune is part of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division and supports the company’s software-based services vision to help drive innovation in the digital entertainment space. More information can be found online at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/zune.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.