BMG and Microsoft to Advance Secure Distribution of Digital Music

NEW YORK and REDMOND, Wash., April 6, 2000 — BMG Entertainment and Microsoft Corp. today announced that BMG has chosen Windows Media TM Technologies for the sale of secure downloadable digital music, paving the way for broad commercial distribution of music from BMG’s catalog via the Internet beginning this summer.

BMG is scheduled to begin online sales of music this summer with current hits and catalog offerings, a major step toward making its artists’ music widely available through secure electronic distribution channels. By the winter holiday season, BMG plans to have a substantial amount of music available for sale electronically from its more than 200 record labels in 53 countries, including Arista Records, RCA Records and Ariola Music.

BMG plans to use the Microsoft® Windows Media technology to protect music against piracy. Windows Media rights management technology, which is built into the Windows Media Player as well as other players, jukeboxes and portable devices that license Windows Media, offers BMG the largest installed base of rights-protected players, jukeboxes and devices.

“BMG is pleased to work with Microsoft to build a significant market for digital downloading as quickly as possible,”
said Kevin Conroy, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing and New Technology at BMG.
“The technologies that BMG has selected, including Windows Media Technologies, will enable us to provide consumers with the best possible experience and protect our artists’ rights.”

“BMG’s strategy marks a significant step toward a new era of digital distribution,”
said Will Poole, vice president of the Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“With secure distribution enabled by Windows Media, BMG will meet the growing consumer demand for digital downloads that let them easily find new music, manage it on their PCs, and carry it with them on portable devices anywhere they go.”

About BMG Entertainment

BMG Entertainment is the $4.7 billion worldwide music and entertainment division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s leading media companies, with annual revenues of $16.4 billion. BMG owns more than 200 record labels in 53 countries, including Arista Records, RCA Records, Ariola and Windham Hill. BMG has been a leader in using the Internet to bring fans closer to their favorite artists. In addition to establishing GetMusic, an online content and commerce joint venture, BMG’s online presence includes more than 30 wholly owned music and lifestyle Web sites around the world, and strategic marketing agreements with and key investments in leading online companies ARTISTdirect,, Egreetings Network, and, among others. BMG also owns the world’s largest music club, one of the world’s largest music publishing companies, and one of the world’s leading compact disc and cassette manufacturing companies. Bertelsmann’s North America interests also include the Random House Inc. book publishing group; and the Gruner + Jahr magazine publishing group, which includes McCall’s, Parents, Family Circle and YM magazines, among others.

About Windows Media

Windows Media, the leading digital media platform, provides consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations with unmatched audio and video quality. Windows Media Technologies, which include Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services,

Windows Media Tools and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK), are available for download at . The Windows Media Player is the fastest-growing digital media player and is available in 24 languages. To date, there are over 100 million licensed copies of the Windows Media Player, growing by more than one every second.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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.

This press release is provided for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS PRESS RELEASE.

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