Microsoft and Liquid Audio Announce Strategic Relationship To Advance Web-Based Music Commerce

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. Nov 3, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. and Liquid Audio, the pioneering developer of secure Internet music-delivery systems, today announced a strategic relationship to collaborate on technology, marketing and industry standards initiatives for online music commerce. The alliance, announced at MusicCom, the music industry’s leading conference on music in the digital age, will lead to improved distribution of music on the World Wide Web for preview and purchase. Following are the key points of the alliance:

  • Microsoft and Liquid Audio will work together on joint marketing and standards initiatives in the area of streaming media and Internet music commerce.

  • Liquid Audio will adopt Microsoft® NetShow
    server (client/server streaming media technology) and Advanced Streaming Format (ASF) as its strategic platform for streaming media.

  • Microsoft will promote the Liquid Music Player on Microsoft’s Web site.

  • Microsoft and Liquid Audio will work together to integrate Liquid Audio Server products with Microsoft Commerce Server.

  • LiquidAudio will make Microsoft Internet Explorer, the Windows NT® Server operating system and Microsoft Site Server, Enterprise Edition, its preferred Internet platforms.

The strategic alliance enables the music industry to host streaming media previews of music titles on the Web more easily and efficiently. In addition, it offers consumers the ability to preview music titles in the highest-quality stereo available for a given bandwidth connection, then to buy the titles of their choice easily and securely.

Simplified hosting and improved-quality preview, together with Liquid Audio’s industry-leading digitally encrypted music delivery, are expected to help the online music industry evolve rapidly by increasing the breadth of music available on the Internet for audio preview and purchase.

“The Internet presents a convenient and compelling new way for consumers to experience, evaluate and purchase music,” said Brad Chase, vice president of marketing, Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft. “The combination of Liquid Audio’s expertise in music commerce and Microsoft’s strength in Internet platform and media-streaming technology will bring Web-based music distribution and enjoyment to a new level.”

“Liquid Audio has successfully removed the barriers to viable online music commerce,” said Gerry Kearby, founder and CEO of Liquid Audio. “Our relationship with Microsoft will help bridge the final gap to the future of music distribution by taking a proactive role in helping establish and further industry standards.”

Founded in 1996, Liquid Audio is the first and only Internet company focusing exclusively on the needs of the music industry. The company is providing the music industry with the software tools needed to utilize the rapidly growing online environment for the distribution of professional-quality music titles. Liquid Audio’s technology allows consumers to preview and purchase CD-quality music over the Internet, while ensuring copyright protection and tracking royalties. Formed by veterans of the music industry and professional recording engineers and funded by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Liquid Audio is leading the convergence of music and technology to establish the Internet as a new medium for music publishing.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, NetShow and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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