Billboard Brings Music Charts to Life With Microsoft Windows Media

REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 1999 — Billboard Online and Microsoft Corp. today announced that Billboard’s weekly chart of music popularity, distributed to more than 75 of the largest online retail and media Web sites, will now include streamed audio samples in the Microsoft® Windows Media TM format. Web sites subscribing to the service will be able to offer their users a chance to sample all the hits on the Billboard charts.

The new service will include 30-second clips of hit singles and three-minute previews of top albums. The clips will be encoded and hosted by and will be available exclusively in Windows Media, an industry-leading digital media format that offers CD-quality sound at half the file size of MP3.

Currently, sites subscribing to the Billboard Online chart feed receive up to 40 different charts of U.S. music sales and airplay, covering pop, R & B, country, rock, rap, Latin, blues, jazz and more. This information can now be published on the subscribing sites with the added component of audio samples, without the sites having to do the encoding and hosting themselves.

“Adding sound samples was a natural extension of our weekly chart services – one that allows our customers to provide their audiences with a deeper level of engagement with the music,”
said Ken Schlager, Billboard Music Group’s vice president of business development.
“We have used Microsoft Windows Media on our site with excellent results. For other sites, these audio streams will provide their users with a better way of browsing for hit music.”

“For over 50 years, a spot on the Billboard charts has been the mark of success in the music industry,”
said Will Poole, general manager, Marketing and Business Development, Streaming Media Division, Microsoft.
“This collaboration with Billboard Online is further confirmation that Windows Media is tops in the industry for sound quality, reliability and ease of use.”

Billboard Online

Billboard Online ( ) is part of the electronic media division of BPI Communications Inc., which publishes Billboard, Adweek, Amusement Business, Backstage, The Hollywood Reporter, Editor & Publisher and BPI Entertainment News wire. BPI Communications is a worldwide media organization providing specialized publications, electronically delivered data and marketing services to professionals in the fields of entertainment, advertising, marketing and media.

About Windows Media Technologies

Windows Media Technologies is the leading digital media platform that provides consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations with unmatched audio and video quality. Windows Media Technologies 4, which includes Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools and the Windows Media SDK, is available for free* download at . More than 50 million copies of the free* Windows Media Player have been downloaded to date – growing by more than one every second.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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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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