MSN Music and MediaBay Make Historic Shows From Golden Age of Radio Available for Download Online for First Time
Exclusive Archive of More Than 1,400 Radio Shows Includes Timeless Programs “The War of the Worlds,” “The Adventures of Superman,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Shadow” and “The Jack Benny Show”
REDMOND, WA -- March 4, 2005 -- More than 1,400 programs from the Golden Age of Radio are available for download for the first time thanks to an exclusive alliance between MSN® Music and MediaBay Inc., with its extraordinary RadioClassics catalog. The shows from RadioClassics, which are available for download from MSN Music (http://music.msn.com) in the United States, include classic dramas, mysteries, detective stories, comedies, westerns, science fiction and adventure stories from the 1930s to the 1960s. The catalog features timeless programs such as “The War of the Worlds,” “The Adventures of Superman,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Shadow” (75th Anniversary) and “The Jack Benny Show.” Most shows are 30 minutes in length, and most will cost 99 cents (U.S.) to download.
To celebrate the addition of the RadioClassics collection, MSN Music will webcast a different RadioClassics show free each day the week of March 7. These free webcasts will offer listeners unfamiliar with these old-time radio shows an introduction to this remarkable catalog while giving older listeners a chance to reconnect with the radio shows they loved as kids. The webcasts will also give families the opportunity to take part in the digital version of gathering around the “radio” on a winter night.
One RadioClassics show will be available through MSN Music each day:
Monday, March 7, “The Adventures of Superman: Baby From Krypton” (original broadcast Feb. 12, 1940)
Tuesday, March 8, “The Jack Benny Show: Will TV Replace Radio?” (original broadcast Feb. 12, 1950)
Wednesday, March, “Gunsmoke: Change of Heart” (original broadcast Sept. 3, 1955)
Thursday, March 10, “Dragnet: The Big Confession” (original broadcast March 30, 1954)
Friday, March 11, “The War of the Worlds” with Orson Welles (original broadcast Oct. 30, 1938)
“RadioClassics is an amazing archive from the Golden Age of Radio that offers our customers a truly unique listening experience,” said Rob Bennett, senior director of MSN Entertainment at Microsoft Corp. “This exclusive content, along with recent agreements with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the Monterey Jazz Festival, demonstrates MSN Music’s commitment to preserving America’s cultural heritage and helping people find what they love - whether it’s today’s biggest hits or yesterday’s classics.”
“The availability of our classic radio content via download will give consumers new and easy access to the great entertainers of the past, who are still adored by many today and who can now be shared across generational lines,” said Jeffrey Dittus, CEO of MediaBay. “We are proud to be partnering with MSN to offer great entertainment for the whole family and at the same time preserve the history of American radio.”
The RadioClassics section of the MSN Music service is set up to make it easy for listeners to explore the archive and discover shows that interest them. The content is categorized by the following genres:
Comedy, such as “The Jack Benny Show,” “The Bob Hope Show” and the “Eddie Cantor Show”
Sitcom, such as “The Burns and Allen Show,” “Fibber McGee and Molly,” “The Amos ’n’ Andy Show,” and “The Life of Riley”
Western, such as “Gunsmoke” and “Have Gun Will Travel”
Mystery/Suspense such as “The Shadow” and “The Mysterious Traveler”
Detectives & Crime, such as “Dragnet” and “The Adventures of Sam Spade”
Horror, such as “Inner Sanctum,” “Lights Out” and “The Whistler”
Drama, such as “Lux Radio Theater”
Science Fiction, such as “X Minus One” and “Dimension X”
Espionage/Adventure, such as “The Saint” and “Dangerous Assignment”
Superheroes, such as “The Adventures of Superman” and “Hopalong Cassidy”
About MSN Music
MSN Music (http://music.msn.com) is a leading online music store with over 1 million tracks available for download in all genres. Songs downloaded from MSN Music can be played on more than 70 portable music devices that support the high-quality Windows Media® Format. In addition to music from all the major labels, MSN Music offers tracks from 3,000 independent labels, making it easy to find what you love.
MSN attracts more than 380 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 www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.
MediaBay is a media, marketing and publishing company specializing in spoken audio entertainment. The Company has over 75,000 hours of audio content in its vast libraries, which it distributes via mail order, its websites, the nation’s largest retailers, and ala carte, digital downloads and subscription services. The Company is transitioning its business from selling hard goods primarily via mail order to digital distribution via wireless and Internet downloads. Its distribution strategy is two-pronged: (1) to wholesale its audio content to the leading music services and broadband companies on a white label basis, both domestically and internationally; and (2) operate its own downloadable content stores and subscription services, which it expects will be branded via partnerships with celebrities and corporate affiliates, each intended to specifically reach targeted demographics which it believes to be interested in its content. For more information on MediaBay, please visit www.mediabay.com or its subsidiary sites: www.audiobookclub.com, www.radiospirits.com and www.radioclassics.com.
About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Microsoft, MSN and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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