Naxos of America and eMusic Introduce MPkey Downloadable Classical Music Collections, Now in Borders(R) Stores
Innovative Product Bridges Gap Between Digital Retail and Brick-and-Mortar Stores; Brings Hours of Great Music to Consumers
FRANKLIN, TN and NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 05, 2006 -- Naxos of America, the leader in independent distribution of classical music in the United States, and eMusic, the world's largest retailer of independent music and the world's second largest digital music service, will introduce MPkey, a series of downloadable classical music collections that offers an easy and affordable way to explore and enjoy the world of classical music online. As part of an unprecedented partnership that bridges the gap between the digital realm and brick-and-mortar retailers, eMusic and Naxos will make the first twelve beautifully packaged MPkey titles -- each of which contains hours of music drawn from the extensive Naxos catalogue -- available exclusively at Borders® stores nationwide from now to December 1.
"This new product in the Naxos family brings classical music to a whole new group of listeners," comments Naxos of America Chief Executive Officer Jim Sturgeon. "MPkey is easy to use and gets rid of any intimidation factor that people might feel toward digital music. Just as important, MPkey delivers music in a versatile format that allows people to fit it into their lifestyles and tastes. Naxos of America has a great relationship with eMusic, and is glad to be able to work with them on this groundbreaking project. Having Borders as the exclusive retailer is a great way to introduce MPkey to the public."
"Naxos is one of eMusic's top-selling labels and from the start of our relationship, eMusic has worked successfully to create an exceptional digital music experience for classical music fans," said eMusic President and CEO David Pakman. "We are excited to offer the world's first MP3 digital box sets -- compendiums of classical music, assembled by the world's leading classical label and delivered by the world's leading independent music service."
"Naxos' commitment to music resonates well with the Borders customer, and eMusic is a company known for its innovation," said Borders Group, Inc. Director of Multimedia, Patti Russo. "Our mission is to provide our customers with the information and entertainment they need to enrich their lives. These products will serve as an enhancement to the products we carry in our stores and will provide our customers with another way to enjoy and nurture their love of music."
MPkey is perfect for internet novices who may have reservations about downloading music from the internet. Each MPkey package guides consumers to a special page on the eMusic site with step-by-step instructions and provides a pass code to automatically download tracks as universally compatible MP3s. Listeners can then immediately begin enjoying their music by playing it on their computer, transferring it to any one of their favorite portable devices -- including an iPod® -- or burning it to a CD.
MPkey is designed to help people incorporate classical music into their busy lives. Experts at Naxos choose tracks carefully to fit the theme of each title so that listeners will be completely satisfied. The colorful booklets that accompany each release include tips on how to use the music for particular activities and provide concise, accessible write-ups on the music and composers.
Naxos of America will inaugurate MPkey by releasing twelve affordable titles, six three-hour kits with a suggested retail price (SRP) of only $14.99 and six six-hour collections with an SRP of only $19.99. The three-hour titles include "Chill with Classical Music, Vol. 1" (Music by Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninov), "Cinema Classics," "Very Best of Classical Guitar," "The Perfect Wedding for All Seasons," and "The Perfect Lullaby Collection." The six-hour titles are "Very Best of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart," "A to Z of Classical Music," "Mind • Body • Spirit," "The Complete Symphonies of Beethoven," "Great Symphonies," "Classical Music for Book Lovers," and "Art and Music: Da Vinci/Raphael/Caravaggio."
MPkey brings together leaders from different sectors of the music industry. Naxos of America, the leading independent distributor of classical music in the United States, selects the music for each release, produces the liner notes and cover artwork, and distributes the code packages to retail, while eMusic -- a leader in marketing digital music to niche target audiences, focusing on the sale of music appreciated by the 28-54 year old demographic -- provides the online mechanism through which listeners attain their music.
In October 2005, eMusic and Naxos of America announced that the digital service provider would offer Naxos' entire catalogue of over 75,000 tracks -- the most extensive and respected collection of classical music assembled. Since the launch, Naxos has become one of eMusic's top-selling labels. Borders® remains one of the top retail sources for Naxos CDs.
ABOUT NAXOS AND NAXOS OF AMERICA
Since 1987, Naxos has redefined how classical music is presented and marketed. The innovative strategy of recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent has enabled the label to develop one of the largest and fastest growing catalogues of unduplicated repertoire available anywhere -- currently over 2,700 active titles -- with state-of-the-art sound and the consumer-friendly price of $8.99 per CD.
Naxos of America, the leader in independent classical music distribution in the U.S., is the exclusive American distributor for Naxos, Marco Polo, Naïve, CPO, Dacapo, CBC Records, Analekta, First Edition, PentaTone, Artek, Andante, Profil, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Arthaus DVD, BBC/Opus Arte DVD, TDK DVD, EuroArts DVD, Juxtapositions DVD, Naxos World, Naxos AudioBooks and Amadis record labels.
Naxos has become what the Los Angeles Times has called an "industry leader" in the field of digital music distribution. Naxos is a significant classical music presence on all the major digital service providers and also offers the Naxos Music Library (www.naxosmusiclibrary.com) streaming service to almost 800 institutional subscribers worldwide. Since September 2005, Naxos has been offering an ongoing series of podcasts on www.Naxos.com and iTunes. Visitors to Naxos.com can register to hear all Naxos CDs online in FM quality (20K) or can register to hear samples of all tracks for free. Naxos also has Naxos Web Radio (www.NaxosRadio.com), a number of streams of music organized by style.
Naxos of America has two offices: a central headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee and a publicity office in New York City. Naxos of America is owned by the North American Classical Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Naxos Global Distribution.
eMusic (http://www.emusic.com) is the world's leading digital retailer of independent music, second only to iTunes in number of downloads sold. The eMusic Web site offers more than 1.7 million tracks from established and emerging artists in every genre from the world's leading independent labels. Created by music experts for music fans, it features award-winning editorial content, a vibrant online community and unrivaled music discovery tools. A subscription-based service that offers 25 free downloads at sign-up, eMusic gives consumers an inexpensive, low-risk way to explore great new music they wouldn't find otherwise, and unlike other download services, its universally compatible MP3 files play on any device including the iPod®. Based in New York, eMusic.com Inc. is wholly owned by Dimensional Associates, Inc., the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, Inc.
ABOUT BORDERS GROUP, INC.
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group is a leading global retailer of books, music and movies with more than 1,200 stores and over 35,000 employees worldwide. More detailed information on the company is available at www.bordersgroupinc.com.