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Amazon.com Adds Classical CDs to Earth's Biggest Book and Music Store

More Selection, More Personalized Recommendations Than Other Music Stores

SEATTLE, Sept. 9, 1998 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced the addition of more than 42,000 classical and opera CDs to its music store, bringing the store's total number of CDs to more than 200,000--25 times the selection of the average physical music store.

Amazon.com also introduced a variety of features to help shoppers discover just the right CD, regardless of their familiarity with classical music. Among those features are thousands of classical-music reviews, editors' recommendations for more than 1,000 essential classical and opera CDs, and thousands of classical and opera bestseller lists.

"We're happy to offer customers a comprehensive classical-music selection, powerful and flexible search tools to help them quickly find the CD they want, and expert reviews and recommendations from noted critics," said Amazon.com senior vice president David Risher. "No physical store can offer such a huge selection--or the personalized assistance in helping you find just the right CD."

Risher noted that the classical-music catalog is far more complex--and thus potentially more confusing--than that of other music styles. "There is only one recording of Kind of Blue or Revolver," Risher said, "but there are more than 100 recordings of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and more than 200 recordings of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Customers want to be able to choose from all the available recordings yet quickly find the one they want. They can do just that at Amazon.com."

Among the 20 Amazon.com classical music editors are Robert Levine, a contributor to the New York Times, Stereophile, and other notable classical-music publications, and Ted Libbey, a commentator on NPR's Performance Today and author of The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection.

During the past three months, thousands of classical-music lovers have e-mailed the company with suggestions and requests, many of which have been incorporated into the store.

For classical music aficionados or those just beginning to build a collection, Amazon.com provides the following features to enable customers with any level of musical knowledge to discover and buy classical and opera CDs they will enjoy:

  • Effective Search Tools: To ensure that customers quickly find the CD they're looking for, Amazon.com's powerful Classical Search offers more ways than any other music store to search for classical music. Customers can search for classical and opera CDs by album or work title, composer, performer, conductor, ensemble, label name, and catalog number.
  • Reviews, Articles, and Interviews by Classical-Music Experts: In addition to reviews by Levine, Libbey, and other Amazon.com editors, customers will also find thousands of reviews from Gramophone, the premier publication devoted to classical music, and exclusive Amazon.com interviews with leading artists and composers, including Philip Glass, Andrew Manze, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.
  • Essentials Lists: Amazon.com editors have selected more than 1,000 essential CDs to help music fans start or expand their classical or opera collections. Customers can find essential classical and opera CDs in 31 different categories, including Italian opera, Baroque music, symphonies, sacred and choral music, chamber music, and concertos.
  • If You Like Classical and Opera: Customers who know what they like--and want more of it--can browse "If You Like Classical and Opera" in Amazon.com's Recommendation Center. Amazon.com editors recommend CDs based on customers' favorite composers, artists, works, and historical periods.
  • Bestseller Lists: Amazon.com's Classical and Opera sections contain thousands of bestseller lists that span the musical spectrum: the bestselling Romantic symphonies, the top oboe recordings, the most popular chorales, the hottest Baroque arias, and more.
Amazon.com's music store, which opened in June, offers shoppers 25 times the CD selection of the typical music store at everyday savings of up to 40%, including 30% off Amazon.com's 100 bestselling CDs and Editor's Choice titles. From alternative to zydeco, hip-hop to bebop, Amazon.com's customers will find everything from the latest releases to hard-to-find gems in any music genre. In addition, the Amazon.com music store features reviews from music experts, song samples, interviews, essentials lists, thousands of bestseller lists, music in the news, and music recommendations.

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc., offers more than 3 million book, music, and other titles, plus easy-to-use search and browse features, secure credit card payment, personalized recommendations, and direct shipping. Amazon.com has virtually unlimited online shelf space to offer customers a vast selection easily accessed through an efficient search-and-retrieval interface, as well as streamlined ordering through 1-Click(SM) technology. Amazon.com pioneered the concept of syndicated selling on the Internet and has more than 100,000 members in its Associates Program, including AOL.com, Yahoo!, Netscape, Excite, the AltaVista Search Service, the @Home Network, and iVillage.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, the unpredictability of its future revenues, and risks associated with capacity constraints, management of growth, and new business opportunities. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1997, and quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 1998.

Amazon.com and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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