LONDON and REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 11, 2000 — Sony Music Entertainment Europe and Microsoft Corp. today announced they will be cooperating for the first time on a European music video channel that will feature localized programming highlighting Sony Music artists. The music videos will be streamed in the Microsoft® Windows Media™ Format, providing high-quality audio and video for both dial-up and broadband connections, and they will be featured prominently on localized portals of the MSN® network of Internet services and Sony Music sites. The as-yet-unnamed channel is scheduled to be launched in November.
The two initial services will feature programs in German tailored to music fans in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and in Swedish for audiences in Sweden. Music videos will be featured in new weekly programs that will also offer interviews and background information on a mix of local and international artists. They will be offered at bit rates suitable for dial-up users as well as broadband users, who can experience near-VHS quality with a 300Kbps version. There are plans to add programs customized for other European countries in coming weeks.
“We are eager to offer music fans an online video channel that will additionally serve the growing base of broadband users in Europe with a high-quality local experience,”
said Nikko Kopke, vice president of technology and media for Sony Music Entertainment Europe.
“We also see this as a great opportunity to provide additional exposure to both superstar and more cutting-edge, developing local and international acts. The Windows Media Player fits in well with this vision, as it provides an excellent user experience and has been localized to serve the needs of our European customers. There is a strong existing European infrastructure in place to facilitate streaming via Windows Media.”
“Digital media is a worldwide phenomenon, and we are committed to providing a truly international platform that offers the best audio and video experience for people all around the globe,”
said Will Poole, vice president of the Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“This expansion of our work together with Sony is an excellent example of how great technology and exciting music content can provide a rich, localized digital media experience. This effort with Sony is a great example of international reach. Sony provides the top-name artists that European audiences want, and we help it reach those audiences through the MSN network with our localized MSN sites and a player that speaks their language.”
About Sony Music Entertainment Europe
Sony Music Entertainment Europe, a division of Sony Music International, has its headquarters in London and now operates in 22 different territories throughout the European region. It employs over 2,500 people and, in addition, has manufacturing facilities in Austria and stand-alone distribution facilities in 12 countries throughout Europe. The company has enjoyed much success through the last 10 years with a wide variety of artists from all around the world including Mariah Carey, Charlotte Church, Celine Dion, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Fat Boy Slim, the Fugees, Julio Iglesias, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Jamiroquai, Patricia Kaas, the Manic Street Preachers, Ricky Martin, Oasis, Pascal Obispo, Sade and Bruce Springsteen.
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in
26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
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 visitors worldwide during June, 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; and MSN Search, the second most popular search service on the Web.
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, Windows Media, MSN, The Everyday Web and Hotmail 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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