SEATTLE and REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 15, 2003 — Loudeye Corp., a leader in managing, promoting and distributing digital media, and Microsoft Corp. today announced they are working together to enable businesses to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy their own branded digital music services and stores. The two companies will promote the adoption of Loudeye’s new digital music solutions, which are built on the Microsoft® Windows Media®
9 Series platform and which make it possible for other companies to create and launch their own digital music stores and services for a significantly reduced upfront financial investment. Initial customers of Loudeye digital music solutions using Windows Media 9 Series include AT & T Wireless and Gibson Audio, a new consumer electronics division of Gibson Guitar Corp.
Loudeye’s new digital music solutions, which launched today, include two new services based on Windows Media 9 Series that will enable companies to quickly and inexpensively launch a digital music store and/or Internet radio service under their own brand.
The Loudeye Digital Music Store is a complete, end-to-end digital music store solution designed for companies looking to rapidly and cost-effectively deliver their own branded digital music stores. The Loudeye Digital Music Store can be rapidly integrated with customers’ existing technology, branding and infrastructure, reducing their time to market for a fully operational digital music business. In addition, for companies looking to deliver premium radio services under their own brand, the Loudeye iRadio Service offers 100 channels of preprogrammed music that can be delivered to Internet-connected devices supporting Windows Media 9 Series and Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM).
Through its built-in support for Windows Media 9 Series, the Loudeye Digital Music Store and iRadio solutions enable companies to deliver high-quality consumer experiences for their digital music services. This support includes high-quality audio and video via Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series, and reaches to more than 40 portable devices that support Windows Media DRM today, and Fast Streaming to enable a virtually instant-on, always-on streaming experience for broadband users.
“Loudeye’s new and innovative Digital Music Store and iRadio solutions open the doors for those companies that want to deploy high-quality digital music experiences for their customers under their own brand in a fast and economical way,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows®
Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “Loudeye is a leader in the industry, recognized for its ability to provide high-quality, customized solutions for digital media, so Loudeye was a natural choice for us to work closely with in this important area.”
“This initiative fills an important niche in the marketplace for companies looking to add a branded digital music offering to their existing customer relationship but that lack the technical expertise and service capability needed to bring an offering cost-effectively to the digital music space,” said Anthony Bay, chairman of Loudeye. “Through its outsourced design, this model implants Loudeye within the value chain to capitalize on the burgeoning digital media segment as it spreads to new industries and business models.”
“The flexibility and richness of Windows Media 9 Series makes it possible for Loudeye to deliver on the promise of digital media for almost any company that wishes to participate in this emerging space,” said Jeff Cavins, president and chief executive officer of Loudeye. “Our customers are excited about our work with Microsoft.”
Next year, AT & T Wireless plans to be the first wireless carrier in North America to introduce a compelling mobile music offering utilizing Loudeye services and the Windows Media 9 Series platform. The company plans to integrate the online music store experience with all of AT & T Wireless’ mMode (TM) capable phones, including the Motorola MPX200 Smartphone, enabling mobile users to discover and purchase music ranging from ring tones to full-length songs.
“As technologies advance and converge, the wireless phone will become the next major platform for music content delivery, and AT & T Wireless will be at the forefront of this transformation,” said John Bunyan, senior vice president of consumer data offers at AT & T Wireless. “Working with industry leaders like Loudeye and Microsoft, we will ensure it’s easy and fun for customers to discover, experience, share and buy music while on the move.”
The Wurltizer Digital Jukebox, which today won “Best of Audio” in the CES 2004 Innovations Awards, is a perfect example of the power that Loudeye and Microsoft together can bring to cutting-edge digital music products. The Wurlitzer Digital Jukebox allows the user to store up to 1,000 CDs in digital format, and then control that music from a wireless touch-screen remote with a remarkably elegant and simple user interface. But unlike other dedicated digital music players, the Wurlitzer Digital Jukebox also gives the user access to 100 channels of digital radio as well as a complete download store, both of which are hosted by Loudeye.
“Because Gibson is new to consumer electronics, we wanted to make a statement by designing the most comprehensive digital music solution on the market, which for us meant including a powerful digital music service,” said Kris Carter, president of Gibson Audio. “Loudeye gave us the ability to give the Wurlitzer Digital Jukebox a full-featured digital music service in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost, it would have taken to develop ourselves.”
About Loudeye Corp. Founded in 1997, Loudeye (Nasdaq “LOUD”) provides the business infrastructure and services for managing, promoting and distributing digital media for the entertainment and corporate markets. More information is available at http://www.loudeye.com/ .
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, used by consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations throughout the world. The Windows Media 9 Series platform includes Windows Media Player 9 Series; Windows Media Services 9 Series, the powerful streaming server feature in Windows Server (TM) 2003 for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder 9 Series for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media Digital Rights Management to help protect content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers to develop digital media products and services. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is now the leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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, Windows and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
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