REDMOND, Wash. and WAYNE, N.J., Aug. 16, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. and Audible Inc. have expanded their strategic relationship, and Audible will support Microsoft® Windows Media TM Technologies 4.0. As a result of this development, millions of users of Windows Media Player worldwide will gain access to Audible’s premium spoken-audio content.
Today’s announcement represents both companies’ aligned efforts in the field of secure Internet audio delivery. Audible and Microsoft will work together, taking advantage of the extensibility of Windows Media Technologies 4.0 to be AudibleReady TM , supporting the key features and functionality required for an optimum premium spoken-audio experience.
In conjunction with today’s announcement, a free preview (connect-time charges may apply) of Audible’s spoken-audio service is now available at MSN TM WindowsMedia.com at http://windowsmedia.com/ . An overview of the preview and coming events can also be found at http://www.audible.com/windowsmedia/ . The selection includes top-selling audio books such as John Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air,” Steve Martin’s “Pure Drivel” and Jewel’s “Night Without Armor” as well as daily feeds of the New York Times on audio and the Joke of the Day. Audible plans to make its extensive library of premium spoken audio available in Windows Media format later in the year.
Audible’s broad collection of audio books, audio magazines and daily audio digests of leading newspapers from over 100 content providers will be available for seamless PC-based playback using the Windows Media Player, representing a significant addition to the listening options available to users of Windows Media. Further, the companies will collaborate to extend Windows Media and the AudibleReady program to a variety of portable devices.
“The extensibility of Windows Media and Microsoft’s commitment to enable strong copyright protection make it an ideal platform to which Audible can add value,” said Andy Huffman, Audible Inc. president and CEO. “We look forward to making Audible’s exciting spoken-audio service available for both PC-based and mobile listening through portable devices that support Windows Media Technologies and are AudibleReady.”
“Audible has been an innovator in creating one of the most extensive collections of premium spoken-audio content on the Internet,” said Will Poole, general manager of the Streaming Media Division at Microsoft. “Our continued relationship with Audible means that the more than 40 million users of Windows Media Player – more than one new user every second – will be able to enjoy Audible’s broad selection of content.”
Audible, Inc. (Nasdaq “ADBL”) is one of the Internet’s largest and most diverse providers of premium spoken-audio content for playback on personal computers and mobile devices. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Wayne, N.J., Audible allows customers to take better advantage of their commute, travel and desktop computer time by delivering premium information and entertainment when their eyes are busy but their minds are free. Audible’s content partners include more than 100 leading audio book publishers, broadcasters, magazine and newspaper publishers, business information providers, and educational and cultural institutions. Visitors to www.audible.com TM can browse, sample, purchase, subscribe to, schedule and download more than 17,000 hours of audio content. The Company’s technology partners include AT & T Corp., Casio Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Creative Labs Inc., Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc., Everex Systems Inc., The Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corp., Philips and RealNetworks. Audible Inc.’s mission is to focus on audio content sourcing, development, packaging, delivery, and playback, as well as the advancement of platform, tools, services, and varied licensing opportunities afforded by the Audible Internet audio service.
About Windows Media
Windows Media Technologies, which include the Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools and Windows Media Audio SDK, are available now for free download at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/ (connect-time charges may apply). Nearly 40 million copies – more than one every second – of the free Windows Media Player have been downloaded. The latest release, Windows Media Technologies 4.0, provides consumers with access to high-quality digital media and content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations with the industry’s best audio and video solution.
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.
Microsoft and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and/or company names referenced herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Statement from Audible: The statements contained in this release which are not historical facts may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, Audible’s limited operating history, history of losses, uncertain market for its services, and its inability to license or produce compelling audio content and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
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