Microsoft PlayReady Helps Expand Digital Content Economy With New Adoption for Mobile and In-Home Entertainment Scenarios

REDMOND, Wash. — April 2, 2009 — Taking steps to help expand the marketplace and improve the consumer experience for digital entertainment, Microsoft Corp. today announced that PacketVideo Corp. will include support for Microsoft PlayReady technology in its CORE multimedia platform, significantly broadening PlayReady’s reach to a range of mobile device platforms. Microsoft also announced the availability of the PlayReady Service Provider Program, in addition to announcing a range of content and technology companies that join the more than 50 companies that have selected Microsoft PlayReady technology to power products and services to deliver mobile and in-home entertainment content. PlayReady is a content access technology that enables content owners and service providers to deliver virtually any type of digital content, using a wide range of business models, from on-demand streaming video and subscription to rental or download-to-own. PlayReady also provides significant improvements in ease of use for consumers looking to access, manage and sync protected content with devices.

PacketVideo, which demonstrated the first PlayReady reference implementation in 2007, announced that it is building PlayReady support into CORE, its rich media framework that has shipped in more than 320 different devices worldwide. With CORE, PacketVideo is broadening PlayReady support for mobile platforms such as Android, Linux and Symbian OS. Future devices built on these platforms will have the option to include support for PlayReady content beginning later in 2009.

“PlayReady enables support for a broad range of business models, and PacketVideo is excited to extend new opportunities to our customers,” said Osama Alshaykh, chief technology officer, PacketVideo. “We look forward to combining Microsoft’s developer base with CORE’s widespread traction in the mobile marketplace.”

PlayReady Service Provider Program Speeds Time to Market for Content Services

The PlayReady Service Provider Program, which launches today, provides companies that want to deliver PlayReady-protected content with an easy way to do so without having to deploy their own PlayReady server systems or directly license PlayReady Server technology from Microsoft. Content distribution networks (CDNs) and hosting companies participating in the program as PlayReady Service Providers can provide highly scalable PlayReady server-based solutions to other companies, helping them bring content services to market quickly. Already six companies have been approved as PlayReady Service Providers:

  • BuyDRM serves the enterprise, entertainment and education markets globally and provides PlayReady services for marketing, monetizing and monitoring content delivered via Microsoft Silverlight.

  • CDNetworks, which serves leading media and entertainment, technology, retail, and online gaming companies worldwide, provides PlayReady services for the protection of digital assets in the e-learning, portal, and media and entertainment markets.

  • Entriq Inc., which serves the world’s major content owners, pay-TV operators and online publishers, provides PlayReady services as a fully integrated component of its Publish, Control and Monetize solutions.

  • ExtendMedia Corp. provides OpenCASE, a multiscreen media monetization platform that uses PlayReady technology to enable telecommunications operators and other media distributors to create, manage, publish and securely deliver digital content across broadband, TV and mobile devices.

  • Ipercast Inc., which delivers secure streaming, downloading and peer-to-peer services with a strong technical presence in six European countries, as well as in Canada and the United States, will provide PlayReady services for its customers to enable the delivery of a wide range of next-generation content services.

  • iStreamPlanet Co., which has a rich history of delivering solutions and live events using Microsoft’s digital media technologies, provides PlayReady-based services to companies looking to secure their content in the global enterprise and media and entertainment space.

“The launch of the PlayReady Service Provider Program provides a new choice for companies wanting to deliver high-quality content services to consumers, helping those companies get to market faster than ever and quickly realize the benefits of PlayReady technology,” said Garrett Glanz, senior director of business development for the TV, Video and Music Business Group at Microsoft. “Together with the new adoption we’re announcing by a wide range of industry leaders, PlayReady is poised to play a critical role in expanding and accelerating the marketplace for digital goods.”

New PlayReady Adoption Continues in Tools, Platforms and Content Services

Since the first release of the PlayReady platform in mid-2008, more than 50 companies have now licensed the technology for use in products and services for entertainment and other content scenarios. Today, in addition to the launch of the PlayReady Service Provider Program, several companies are announcing they are incorporating PlayReady into their offerings:

  • Axinom GmbH, which is building support for PlayReady into its Enterprise Web Content Management System AxCMS.net that will enable content and service providers to rapidly deploy solutions to manage and distribute PlayReady-protected content through customizable Silverlight front ends.

  • Cloakware, which is adding a pre-secured PlayReady implementation and related consulting services to its Cloakware DRM Solutions product line, enabling application developers and consumer electronics device manufacturers to more easily meet compliance and robustness rules, bridge from conditional access systems and integrate into multimedia applications, all while reducing time to market and increasing return on investment.

  • CoreMedia integrates PlayReady into its solutions for content management and video on demand via the Web and focuses on near-term deployments in Microsoft Silverlight scenarios with major network and service operators.

  • Envivio Inc., which is building support for PlayReady into its hardware encoder product line, which will enable real-time protection of high-quality audio and video content for use in live mobile TV and Internet TV scenarios.

  • SafeNet Inc., which is supporting PlayReady in DRM Fusion product family, client and server DRM solutions for mobile operators, service providers, platform integrators and device manufacturers. The SafeNet DRM Fusion products enable various business models, interface to billing and provisioning systems, and are designed for easy integration with content delivery platforms and devices.

  • Twofour Digital is integrating PlayReady into its Internet protocol (IP)-based live streaming and video-on-demand platform MEDIAFREEDOM, to support the distribution of protected high-quality commercial video content by major broadcasters and other content services.

  • TXT Polymedia has integrated PlayReady technology into its “Media in a Box” product, an integrated solution for companies that want to enrich their online presence with high-quality video content and video advertising, including support for streaming, downloads and rental of content.

Microsoft PlayReady is designed to enable digital entertainment services across devices and software applications, with a specific focus on meeting the needs of mobile and network operators, service providers and device manufacturers. PlayReady supports a broad range of different business models that can be applied to almost any type of digital content, including video, games, ringtones, images and more, and a wide range of audio and video formats, including MPEG Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), AAC+, Enhanced AAC+, H.264, Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV). PlayReady also provides features such as service domains and embedded licenses, specifically designed to make it easy for consumers to enjoy content on all their registered devices without the need for an active connection.

More information on Microsoft PlayReady technology, including details of the PlayReady Service Provider Program, can be found on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/playready.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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