REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK, May 12, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. and Sony Music Entertainment today announced that both companies will collaborate and jointly promote innovative software, music and video products on the Web. The collaboration will enable the two companies to cross-market and promote each other’s online properties as well as streaming audio and video events. As part of the cooperation, Sony Music would make protected downloadable music content from its extensive roster of artists available concurrent with the consumer launch of Microsoft® Windows Media
Technologies 4.0 this summer.
The alliance is expected to result in wider distribution and promotion of Sony Music’s Web efforts as well as increased exposure for Microsoft’s new Windows Media 4.0, which is currently in public beta testing with the final version planned for release this summer. Through this alliance, Microsoft and Sony Music will provide music fans with quick, easy Web access to some of the most popular music and music videos, delivered using high-quality Windows Media formats.
“The Internet has proven to be an amazing tool for marketing and promoting our artists,” said Fred Ehrlich, senior vice president and general manager, New Technology and Business Development, Sony Music Entertainment. “More and more music fans are anxious to access music from their favorite artists via the Internet, and this agreement will provide a way for them to do just that.”
“Working with Sony Music Entertainment to use Windows Media for both streaming and downloadable music will help us deliver enhanced music experiences for consumers while offering new opportunities for Sony Music and its artists,” said Will Poole, senior director, marketing and business development, Streaming Media Division, Microsoft.
Working With the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI)
Sony Music Entertainment and Microsoft are both active members of SDMI and are working together closely to support SDMI’s goals: providing consumers with convenient access to quality recordings, ensuring copyright protection for artists’ work, and enabling technology and music companies to build successful business on the Internet.
Microsoft invited Sony Music to evaluate its beta version of Windows Media 4.0, including Windows Media Rights Manager and Windows Media Player. Working with Sony Music, Microsoft will enhance the final version of Windows Media 4.0 with the intent of meeting the initial portable device requirements under development by SDMI, which are expected to be finalized June 30. This would make Windows Media 4.0 one of the technologies around which hardware manufacturers could design compliant portable players.
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About Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment produces, manufactures, distributes and markets recorded music and video, with a catalog containing more than 500,000 recordings. Sony Music Entertainment comprises three divisions: Sony Music (United States), Sony Music International (active in 60 countries), and Sony Classical, the worldwide classical music, film and video division. The company has its headquarters in New York City.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.
Windows Media Technologies, including Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools and Windows Media Audio SDK, is available now for free download at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/ (connect-time charges may apply). The latest release, Windows Media Technologies 4.0, provides content providers, solution providers and software developers with the industry’s best audio and video quality, a flexible content rights management system, and improved electronic-commerce solutions.
Microsoft and Windows Media 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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