REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 16, 2004 — Starting today, music fans in the United States will be able to go to one place to buy music from mainstream artists as well as discover new artists through free legal downloads from independent musicians. MSN®
Music, located at http://www.music.msn.com , has teamed up with GarageBand.com, the largest community of independent musicians on the Web, to offer free music downloads, radio and other content from emerging artists.
The alliance with GarageBand.com will help music fans easily discover their next favorite band without spending hours scouring multiple Web sites or local CD stores. Available at http://music.msn.com/garageband , the GarageBand.com site hosted by MSN Music will feature music and content from GarageBand.com’s top-rated independent artists spanning several genres. Today the GarageBand.com page on MSN Music will highlight five up-and-coming musicians, including rising star Geoff Byrd, who has recently dominated GarageBand.com’s listener ratings as a top-rated artist.
“There’s so much great music produced by independent artists these days, including the music that may be in tomorrow’s top 10,” said Rob Bennett, senior director of MSN Entertainment. “GarageBand.com’s listener-rating system is an excellent filter for undiscovered talent, and teaming up with GarageBand.com is a great way for us to help music fans discover new tracks and emerging artists that they wouldn’t find on other music services.”
GarageBand.com Alliance Offers Fans Multiple Options for Discovering New Music
The alliance between MSN Music and GarageBand.com will offer a broad range of music discovery tools over the coming months, including these:
GarageBand.com hub page. MSN Music has created a page dedicated to GarageBand.com, featuring information from the site as well as individual artist pages that specifically highlight a variety of the musicians that receive the best ratings from GarageBand.com’s listener community.
Former MP3.com archive. MSN Music plans to initially offer 150,000 tracks that GarageBand.com is restoring from the former MP3.com archive.* The archive represents a broad range of music and, once available through a link on MSN, will be one of the largest sources of free legal music in the world.
Music charts. Lists of GarageBand.com’s top-ranked songs, generated by the site’s unique listener-based review process and representing a variety of musical genres from hip-hop to jazz, will appear on MSN Music.
Free downloads. In the coming months, additional tracks from more than 100,000 independent musicians from GarageBand.com’s extensive library will be made available through a link on MSN Music.
GarageBand.com Radio. In the coming months, an MSN Music station will be programmed to stream the top-ranked music from GarageBand.com’s thousands of up-and-coming independent artists.
“MSN Music provides GarageBand.com’s artists with the one thing they need most to further their careers: exposure to a mass audience,” said Ali Partovi, CEO of GarageBand.com. “MSN’s dedication to promoting independent music will allow both artists and music fans to realize the Internet’s true potential for transforming the music business.”
Singer-Songwriter Geoff Byrd Gets Star Treatment on MSN Music
The first artist highlighted on MSN Music’s GarageBand.com site is Geoff Byrd. The Portland, Ore.-based singer-songwriter is one of the best-rated artists of all time on GarageBand.com, boasting four songs in the site’s listener-selected Top 10. Geoff Byrd’s music also has been added to the MSN top 40 and alternative pop radio stations and will be included in promotions featured across the MSN network.
“It’s amazing to see my music go from being rated by listeners on GarageBand.com one day to reaching a national audience on MSN Music the next,” said Byrd. “The Internet is where tomorrow’s stars are going to be discovered, and MSN Music and GarageBand.com are turning the dream into a reality for artists like me.”
In addition to Geoff Byrd, new independent artists spotlighted on MSN Music include Rowdee Black Giants, Anne Heaton, Trip2Go and Sci-Fi Lullaby, whose music ranges from high-energy live hip-hop to folk-infused pop. To help music fans discover this new talent, MSN Music will feature one free track from each artist. Their albums will be available for purchase from their custom artist pages.
GarageBand.com ( http://www.GarageBand.com ) is the world’s largest musician community and home to the definitive charts of independent music. Since 1999, fourteen of its highest-ranking bands have been signed by major labels, including double-platinum recording artists Drowning Pool, and many more have scored licensing or publishing deals. In April 2004, GarageBand.com acquired exclusive rights to resurrect the former MP3.com community of 250,000 artists and 1.7 million songs. GarageBand.com uses collaborative filtering to let ordinary people identify the best songs. Recognized by Time Magazine as one of 2003’s “50 Best Websites,” GarageBand.com’s mission is to empower musicians and redefine how music is discovered and promoted. GarageBand.com is run by CEO Ali Partovi, whose previous startup, LinkExchange, was acquired by Microsoft in 1998.
MSN attracts more than 360 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 40 markets and 20 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com . MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
GarageBand and GarageBand.com are trademarks of Evolution Artists Inc. dba GarageBand Records.
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