MSN Music Offers Paid Downloads and Free Tracks From GarageBandcom

Redmond, WA (November 17, 2004)--Starting Monday, November 15, music fans in the U.S. can 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 (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.
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Redmond, WA (November 17, 2004)--Starting Monday, November 15, music fans in the U.S. can 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 (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 music.msn.com/garageband.com, 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."

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. (Subject to consent from the copyright holders.) 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."

The first artist highlighted on MSN Music's GarageBand.com site is Geoff Byrd. The Portland, OR-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. 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.

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