UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP TO TEST COMMERCIAL DOWNLOADS
bluemattertm Trials Mark Move
Towards Legitimate Digital Music Market
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 1, 2000 – Universal Music Group (UMG) today announced it will begin trials of bluemattertm, a new digital music product, later this week. Songs in the bluemattertm format come with enhanced multimedia content, such as biographies, photographs, lyrics and credits. bluemattertm tracks span a breadth of genres from rock to pop to classical. The trials will allow UMG to test key components of this new digital music product to provide information for future digital businesses to begin later this fall.
Later this week, bluemattertm tracks will be available at select affiliate sites: Alliance Entertainment’s “thestore24” sites, including Penny Lane Records; ARTISTdirect; audiohighway.com; Excite@Home; LAUNCH.com; Lycos Music; Music.com; and RollingStone.com (an EMusic Web site). In coming weeks bluemattertm tracks will also be available at BestBuy.com, Bolt through Rioport, Checkout.com and GetMusic.
“Universal is embracing multiple digital music strategies, beginning with our multimedia download product, bluemattertm. Gaining insight into consumer preferences for accessing and enjoying legitimate digital music is an important first step in being able to develop other new and compelling products and services for music fans,” said Heather Myers, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Global e. “The bluemattertm trials are part of several options that we are developing to open Universal’s vast library of music to the digital music consumer.”
The trials will begin with about 60 tracks from a variety of Universal Music Group artists including Blink 182, George Benson, Live, Luciano Pavarotti, 98 Degrees, Marvin Gaye and SMASH MOUTH, with more tracks to be added weekly as the trials roll out.
As previously announced, Universal Music Group partnered with a variety of technology companies to allow the secure delivery of bluemattertm music, including InterTrust Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: ITRU), the leading developer of distributed digital rights management technology; Magex, an innovative digital commerce service; and RealNetworks, the leader in Internet media delivery and creator of RealJukebox 2, the leading digital music jukebox on the Internet.
During the bluemattertm trials, UMG will offer each consumer a $4 credit in a Magex digital wallet to encourage trial of the new product. UMG will monitor consumer feedback and input from affiliate partners to develop enhancements and improvements to the product and delivery systems. UMG will provide customer service and information at bluematter.com to assist music fans and consumers with questions related to downloading bluemattertm tracks. In addition, participants in the bluemattertm trials will be able to provide UMG with direct feedback through the sign-up process.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. 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 A&M Records, Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, 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 UM3 (outside the U.S.).
Universal Music Group is a unit of The Seagram Company Ltd., a global entertainment and spirits and wine company.