MSN Teams With to Provide First Online Chat Service With Streaming Music

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 11, 2000 — The MSN® network of Internet services today became the first online chat service to integrate live streaming music into a single experience for consumers. The new MSN Chat Radio service is provided through an alliance with™
, the leading interactive audio entertainment company. MSN Chat Radio transforms the chat experience by creating a unique environment with interactive audio, where people anywhere in the world can not only chat with friends but also listen to their favorite music on MSN, the Web’s No. 1 destination worldwide. MSN and will allow music to heighten the shared experience of chat rooms and also become a subject of the online community’s discussion.

To launch the first-ever audio-enabled chat, Sylvester Stallone today will headline the star-studded Premiere Week lineup, which includes Matchbox 20, Mandy Moore, LL Cool J, Dido, Cypress Hill and Everlast, on MSN Chat Radio. MSN Chat Radio users will be able to chat online with the celebrities, while listening to their responses streamed live in the chat room.

“I am honored to be the first audio chat on MSN,”
Stallone said.
“Please join me as we discuss the gangster thriller ‘Get Carter’ and also the making of the spectacular new race car film ‘Driven.'”

The MSN service will make music an entertaining and useful addition to the chat experience. MSN Chat Radio allows chat room participants to relate to one another not only in conversation, but also by providing music that the entire chat room can enjoy. will produce and distribute 40 genre-specific music channels to MSN that correlate with its chat-room categories. The music will stream on a jointly developed interactive audio player that takes advantage of’s leading services and capabilities, seamlessly integrated in the MSN chat window. The player will provide people with information on the music currently playing, display opportunities for purchasing music online, and enable people to rate the music in their chat room.

“Today’s chat programs are the equivalent of watching silent movies,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of marketing for MSN.
“With the new MSN Chat, consumers now have a unique way to enhance their chats with a wide range of music tailored to their conversations. And with a who’s who of celebrities such as Sly Stallone participating in MSN’s first-ever audio-chats, users will want to download the new MSN Chat right away.” will help strengthen MSN Chat’s community and consumer loyalty by offering unique interactive music features, including these:

  • Direct links to information about the song playing, such as artist and band biographies and discographies

  • Direct links to buy the album of the song playing

  • Voting opportunities to rate the music playing

  • A user-controlled on/off button

“We’re confident that people chatting on MSN will enjoy the interactive audio environments we’re creating and will want to chat longer as a result,”
said Bill Pearson, CEO of
“MSN’s selection of as its interactive audio provider demonstrates the high quality of our services. Providing music for the large MSN audience allows us to expand and apply these services to an exciting new area that complements the services we now offer to music companies and radio stations.” will provide MSN with a variety of audio channels fashioned after the broad range of chat categories MSN offers. has been streaming alternative rock, jazz, blues and classical music, among others, and its offerings for MSN will include any musical genre that fits the chat profile, be it alternative music or hip-hop. Users in Japan, Korea and the U.K. will be able to listen to local audio channels. Future versions of MSN Chat Radio will further enhance the consumer experience by offering additional local content streams.

Chat has become one of the most popular online activities, with more people joining every day. According to Forrester Research, 16 percent of North American households have participated in a chat weekly in the last three months, and more than half of U.S. Internet users listen to audio on their PC. is enabling MSN to continue to update its service based on consumer input, with the goal of integrating MSN Chat with other personal communications services as part of delivering on its vision of The Everyday Web™

About is reinventing audio experiences for the interactive age. The company creates unique and compelling audio entertainment for distribution on the Internet. The result is a captivating experience that reaches and holds the attention of Internet users and drives activity on Web sites that are
“Powered by RadioWave.”’s fully customized Web-based solutions support and enhance its customers’ brands by integrating live or programmed music with coordinated visuals, interactive information and interactive audio advertising spots,
“iSpots™ .”
Across’s growing network of Web sites, iSpots allow advertisers to reach a large audience with marketing messages that users can see, hear and respond to immediately. iSpots are also used to market’s customers’ own products and services to generate revenue and awareness for their businesses on the Web.’s financial and strategic partners include Warburg Pincus Ventures, FBR Technology Venture Partners, EMI Recorded Music, Intel, Motorola and Susquehanna Radio Corp.

About MSN

MSN is an integrated network of content and services that help consumers get more from the Web — any time, any place and from any device. MSN is the most popular destination on the Internet, attracting 201 million unique monthly visitors worldwide, and is available in 33 markets in 17 languages — a broader global presence than any other portal. MSN Internet Access is the highly rated, fast and reliable way for consumers to get on the Web, now with 3 million subscribers. MSN delivers The Everyday Web experience by providing more than just the basics for new Internet users, with benefits for more advanced users looking for richer functionality. Best-of-breed services include MSN Hotmail® , the world’s largest e-mail system, with more than 67 million active accounts; MSN Messenger Service, the fastest-growing instant messaging service, with more than 18 million users; MSN Search, the second most popular search service on the Web; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning MSN MoneyCentral™
online personal finance service; MSN eShop, the one-stop online shopping resource; MSN Custom Web Sites, the easy way to share information on the Web; and many other widely used services that make MSN a leading innovator of Internet technologies. MSN is located on the Web at .

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.

Microsoft, MSN, The Everyday Web, Hotmail and MoneyCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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