|Amazon.com, Warner Music Group, RealNetworks, and Liquid Audio to Offer Exclusive Series of Free Downloads From 10 Top-Name Artists|
Amazon.com customers will enjoy exclusive downloads from artists including Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt, Stereolab, Old 97's, Buena Vista Social Club, and Genesis
SEATTLE, August 26, 1999-/PRNewswire/-Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 music retailer, today announced plans to add songs from 10 Warner Music Group artists to its Free Downloads area over the next month. Spanning a broad range of musical styles, the participating artists include Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, Stereolab, Old 97's, Buena Vista Social Club, Phil Collins's Big Band, Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet, Ibrahim Ferrer, Kris Kristofferson, Natalie Cole, and Genesis with Peter Gabriel. During this promotion, the songs will be available for secure free download exclusively at Amazon.com in Liquid Audio, and can be played using the new version of RealNetworks' RealJukebox and the LiquidTM Player, both of which are available for free at Amazon.com.
The collaboration between Amazon.com, the Warner Music Group, RealNetworks, and Liquid Audio marks the first time these industry leaders have joined to promote a significant, secure free-download campaign. Beginning today, visitors to Amazon.com's Free Downloads area can download and listen to the songs "Sweet Spot" and "For a Dancer" from the album Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions, by Elektra Records artists Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. Amazon.com will then continue to add free promotional downloads from recently released and soon-to-be-released Warner Music Group albums every Thursday during the month of September. This exclusive series will culminate in free promotional downloads of unreleased songs from acclaimed Atlantic/Nonesuch/World Circuit Records artists Ibrahim Ferrer and Buena Vista Social Club, plus a version of the classic Genesis song "Carpet Crawlers, " featuring Peter Gabriel on vocals in his first reunion with the group in more than 20 years. The schedule of artists is as follows:
"This series of free downloads from Warner Music Group artists offers Amazon.com customers an exclusive selection of great music from top names in rock, pop, alternative, country, classical, international, and jazz," said Jennifer Cast, general manager of Amazon.com's music store. "These additions reinforce Amazon.com's Free Downloads area as the best place for music fans to download songs from major artists in all genres."
"We are extremely excited about the innovative opportunities this relationship with Amazon.com will create," said Sylvia Rhone, chairperson and CEO of Elektra. "This exclusive promotion reflects Elektra's continued commitment to utilizing digital technology to create a more direct connection between our artists and their fans."
"Musical diversity is one of our primary goals at Atlantic, and we are constantly seeking out fresh avenues to promote artists working in a spectrum of musical styles," said Val Azzoli, Atlantic Group cochairman/coCEO. "Amazon.com does an excellent job in calling the consumer's attention to a wide range of releases, both in and out of the mainstream, and our new download partnership will be a terrific vehicle to expose a rich diversity of our artists and their new music."
Visitors to Amazon.com's Free Downloads area will be able to download tracks from Warner Music Group artists in the Liquid Audio format. Customers can play the songs using both the new RealJukebox from RealNetworks, which allows consumers easily to build, organize, and play their digital music collections, and the Liquid Player.
"Eight million users of RealJukebox will have one-click access to great music from the Warner Music Group," said Maria Cantwell, senior vice president of RealNetworks. "The fact that every week there will be new content from top artists available through RealJukebox demonstrates the growing interest in quality music distribution on the Web."
"Liquid Audio's software and distribution services enable Warner Music Group and its artists to publish and syndicate their music as secure downloads on Amazon.com," said Charly Prevost, vice president of retail marketing & promotions at Liquid Audio Inc. "Using Liquid Player software, fans can enjoy this music with premier sound quality and visual presentation. Liquid Player makes it easy to sample music, check out lyrics and liner notes, and purchase, download, and organize music. Consumers can also use the Liquid Plug-ins for RealNetworks to access Liquid Tracks right from their RealPlayer G2 or RealJukebox."
With the additions today of the two tracks from Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, Amazon.com's Free Downloads area now offers music fans more than 50 free, full-length downloads from more than 35 established recording artists-the largest selection of free downloadable music of any major online music retailer. The upcoming additions of songs from the other Warner Music Groups artists will further augment this leading selection of free downloads.
These secure downloads conform to the objectives of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), the multi-industry body seeking to set specifications for the secure sale of digital music over the Internet.
About Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. Amazon.com also operates LiveBid.com (www.livebid.com), the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.
In addition, Amazon.com has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient: drugstore.com, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at www.drugstore.com; Pets.com, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at www.pets.com; HomeGrocer.com, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at www.homegrocer.com; and Gear.com, which offers brand-name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at www.gear.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.
Amazon.com, Amazon.com Auctions, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Selection, Bid-Click, and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc., or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
About Warner Music Group
In May, RealNetworks introduced RealJukebox, the first complete digital music product that gives consumers everything they need to acquire, play, and manage their personal music collections. RealJukebox is the first digital music product to support full integration with multiple portable devices and the broadest range of formats, and by June had already become the most popular digital music system, according to Media Metrix. RealNetworks can be found on the World Wide Web at www.real.com.
About Liquid Audio