CDNOW’s Cosmic Music Network Selects Windows Media As Featured Technology

NEW YORK and REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 17, 1999 — CDNOW Inc. (Nasdaq
), a leading online music destination, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq
“MSFT” ) today announced that Microsoft® Windows Media TM has been selected as a featured technology for music downloading and streaming audio on CDNOW’s Cosmic Music Network (CMN), a new comprehensive and innovative online community uniting unsigned bands with music lovers. The CMN site goes live tomorrow, and bands interested in joining CMN can register free at

Through this relationship, CMN will be providing thousands of CDs’ worth of music content using Windows Media as its featured format. CMN will also make available innovative new Web publishing solutions for musicians using the Windows Media On-Demand Producer software, which simplifies the creation of streaming media content. Both experienced Web developers and novice streaming media authors can easily create streaming files, giving music fans instant media playback instead of requiring them to wait for files to download.

Jason Olim, president and chief executive officer of CDNOW, said,
“Our work with Microsoft to offer Windows Media technology not only enhances CMN and provides a simple, high-quality way for our users to enjoy their favorite music, but also provides a platform where independent bands can uncover new audiences and resources, and music lovers can hear the latest music through a user-friendly music destination.”

CMN offers emerging bands a comprehensive source for promoting and selling their music by providing the tools and resources needed to build their careers, including the following:

  • Independent artist pages featuring band pictures, biographies, tour dates, influences and digital audio tracks available for download

  • Direct access to CDNOW’s more than 2.7 million customers

  • Opportunities to sell CDs and LPs worldwide through CDNOW

  • A bulletin board and chat room featuring the latest industry news and opportunities to talk with industry experts, other musicians and fans

Bands will also be able to participate in
CDNOW’s unsigned band contest, as well as establish links with similar-sounding artists through CDNOW’s Related Artist feature.

Bob Saltzman, vice president of Corporate Sales and Development at CDNOW, said
“CMN enhances CDNOW’s reputation as a desirable platform for advertisers targeting young, hip music fans and teens. CMN is an important new vehicle for advertisers looking to reach music lovers and buyers.”

For music enthusiasts, CMN will provide unprecedented access to new and unsigned artists, including extensive artist databases on past, present and future musicians and groups, keyword searches that will allow CMN users to search for specific bands, and bulletin boards to meet people with similar musical interests and post questions, answers and information on all types of music.

“Microsoft is very excited to be part of the launch of CMN with CDNOW, a premier music destination,”
said Will Poole, general manager, Streaming Media Division, Microsoft.
“We know that for discerning artists and fans, sound quality is critical, and the use of Windows Media on CMN will offer the best exposure for artists and the best experience for their fans.”


CDNOW Inc. is the online music destination that offers the most comprehensive, personalized connection to the world of music. CDNOW’s offerings consist of more than 500,000 music and entertainment-related items, including CDs, DVDs, videos, cassettes, vinyl albums, custom CDs and music downloads, as well as music samples, intelligent album recommendations, a vast library of interviews and reviews from top music writers, music news from allstar News, and access to emerging artists through Cosmic Music Network. CDNOW is a trademark of CDNOW Inc.

On July 12, 1999, CDNOW Inc. entered into a definitive agreement with Sony Corp. of America (NYSE
) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE
) to merge with Columbia House, the leading club-based direct marketer of music and videos. The new public company resulting from the merger will be owned 37 percent each by Sony and Time Warner. CDNOW’s existing stockholders will own the remaining 26 percent. The parties anticipate completion of the transaction by year-end or early 2000.

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 per second.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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.

*Connect-time charges may apply.

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

CDNOW is a trademark of CDNOW Inc.

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

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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