Microsoft Unveils Redesigned WindowsMedia.com With Powerful New Features and Content
First Audio/Video Guide to Offer Access to Artist and Album Information From AMG; "Week of WindowsMedia.com" Celebrates With Exclusive Music From Top Artists, Never-Before-Seen "Jaws" Movie Footage and More
REDMOND, Wash. -- May 2, 2000 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced a dramatic upgrade to WindowsMedia.com, the Internet's most popular audio and video guide*, now offering unmatched search and navigation capabilities, integrated access to artist and album information from Alliance Entertainment Corp.'s All Music Guide, and one of the Web's largest directories of downloadable music from major and independent labels. WindowsMedia.com's new features make it easier than ever for mainstream consumers to find and enjoy music, movies and more in the high-quality Windows Media™ Format.
To celebrate this milestone, Microsoft today kicked off the "Week of WindowsMedia.com," running now through May 8. This series of promotions will feature exclusive content from such top-tier artists as Christina Aguilera, Phish and Madonna, live-concert video downloads from House of Blues, movie trailers from the Cannes Film Festival and never-before-released footage from popular movies. Special features will be showcased each day at http://windowsmedia.com/.
WindowsMedia.com also will host a monthlong portable music device giveaway.** Every day through May 31, WindowsMedia.com will give away three portable music devices. Eight first-prize winners will receive a Hewlett-Packard Jornada Pocket PC, and the grand-prize winner will receive a free trip to and VIP treatment for two at a House of Blues concert in Los Angeles. Registration is free; details are available at http://windowsmedia.com/.
"The incredible growth in audience and content at WindowsMedia.com presented an opportunity for us to transform the online digital media experience," said Dave Fester, general manager of marketing, Digital Media Division, Microsoft. "The new WindowsMedia.com, enhanced by All Music Guide data, powerful search capabilities and the huge music database, delivers on our goal of making it easy for people to find great content."
Launched just last year to help consumers discover and sample the best of the Web's audio and video content, WindowsMedia.com has already become the Internet's most popular guide to audio and video content on the Internet, with more than 5 million unique visitors per month, according to recent figures from Media Metrix.*
All Music Guide Integration
WindowsMedia.com is the only audio and video guide to incorporate the rich information on more than 400,000 albums from All Music Guide. Searching an artist's name returns artwork, a biography, a discography with individually rated albums and a listing of similar artists. Following a link from an artist's main page to a particular album in the discography returns album art, album details, a track listing and the All Music Guide album review. Integrated with the All Music Guide information is a listing of all the songs and videos currently available from that artist via WindowsMedia.com.
Massive Music Download Directory
WindowsMedia.com is creating one of the Internet's largest directories of downloadable music from major and independent labels, with more than 60,000 tracks available immediately and 40,000 to be added within weeks. The single largest source of downloads available through WindowsMedia.com is Musicmaker.com, which has provided links to tracks drawn from the largest independent labels. The Musicmaker.com library includes more than 20,000 jazz, 35,000 classical and 20,000 rock tracks, plus significant collections in specialty genres.
Thousands of additional tracks will be available from Amplified.com, Atlantic Records, Atomic Pop, Del-Fi, edge102.com, Epitonic, Global Music Network Inc., House of Blues Digital Inc., K-tel, Launch.com, Ministry of Sound, MTV.com, Mudhut, Music Choice, Musicdownloads.com, Raveworld, Remotemusic.com, Rioport, Tower Records and VH1.com.
"The new WindowsMedia.com is the ideal channel for us to get our vast library before millions of Windows Media users," said Bill Crowley, senior vice president of marketing and a co-founder of Musicmaker.com. "The guide's design makes it easy for music fans to get directly to the artists and genres they like, and the rich background information will encourage them to discover new gems in our library."
Week of WindowsMedia.com
WindowsMedia.com celebrates its new look and capabilities with a week of exclusive free music downloads, music videos, movie promotions and more. The "Week of WindowsMedia.com" kicks off today with a free download of an exclusive remix of "What a Girl Wants" by Christina Aguilera, audio and video streams of Aguilera's "I Turn To You" and a chance to win tickets to Aguilera concerts in 15 markets. Fans can also download a custom user interface, or "skin," for Windows Media Player 7 featuring Aguilera. Other highlights today include a documentary with live concert shots from No Doubt's 1999 tour, a behind-the-scenes interview with Jennifer Lopez, the "WWF Smackdown!," Madonna's "American Pie" video from PreviewTunes and baseball highlights from MaxBaseball.com.
Many more free specials are coming up in the "Week of WindowsMedia.com," including these:
New Features Deliver the Best Experience
Changes at WindowsMedia.com go far beyond its new look. Like the Windows Media Player 7, released to consumers today in beta form, the new WindowsMedia.com was designed to make digital media accessible to mainstream audiences. The site was entirely rebuilt to handle the explosive growth in visitors as well as the massive amount of content available in the Windows Media Format, especially in such popular categories as music downloads and radio. Key features of WindowsMedia.com include the following: