Music Industry Support for Windows Media Hits Another High Note

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 26, 1999 — Shania Twain, Robbie Williams, Stone Temple Pilots and the Grateful Dead are undoubtedly sensational performers. But they are also artists who know the score when it comes to digital audio technology. All four recently joined the list of top recording artists who in the next 30 days will use Windows Media to deliver their music online to their fans.

Sony Music Entertainment and Launch.com, a premier Internet music destination, recently announced that they have chosen Windows Media Audio as their exclusive format for
“Download 2000.”
A 10-week series of full-length promotional digital previews,
“Download 2000”
features new songs from an array of Sony Music artists. The musicians featured in the company’s first-ever multi-artist download promotion include Alice In Chains, Roger Waters, Ben Folds Five, Train and Cypress Hill.

Exclusive previews of select new tracks from these and other artists’ new releases will be available at intervals of approximately two weeks through January 2000 at www.launch.com. Music fans can download selections free off the Internet throughout the countdown to the millennium.

The Best Music: Faster with Windows Media

Using the Internet to deliver music is a compelling trend that resonates with artists, record labels and fans alike. The growing number of top-selling performers that have chosen Windows Media is further proof that Microsoft’s technology provides real opportunities for artists and record companies to promote music and build relationships with fans — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Windows Media offer fans CD-quality sound with files that are 50 percent smaller than those from MP3, so downloaded music not only sounds better but requires much less disk space and memory. More efficient compression technology allows avid music consumers to download files faster and store more music on their PC or portable music device.

“Windows Media’s files are half the size of other formats such as MP3 and this is a huge draw for online fans wanting quality music without the wait,”
said Jay Samit, senior vice president of New Media, EMI.
“In our recent download promotion of the new David Bowie album ‘Hours,’ most customers chose the Windows Media format for their download.”

Windows Media also incorporates advanced Digital Rights Management, technology that gives artists and labels wide latitude to protect their digital music from piracy and other forms of unauthorized Internet distribution. This extra dimension of security is particularly reassuring to mainstream artists and large record labels.

Fans have a growing number of options for checking out just how well Windows Media works — and plays. They can visit sites like Launch.com and House of Blues and listen to the new releases of top featured artists. By visiting Microsoft’s WindowsMedia.com Web site, users can find newly released music from Shania Twain, Michael Hutchence and Garbage, among others.

Part of the MSN TM network, the WindowsMedia.com audio/video guide offers millions of consumers worldwide access to online radio, music and video from more than 1,000 content providers.

Music genres featured at the site include everything from jazz, hip-hop, R & B and rockabilly to ethnic African, Celtic bands and classic Vegas show tunes, all with the superior listening quality that’s making Windows Media the format of choice for mainstream music.

Other leading artists who have used Windows Media in the past three months are Mariah Carey, Marcy Playground, Savage Garden, Garth Brooks, John Berry, The Beastie Boys, Kid Rock and Tori Amos.

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