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MusicMatch Gets Bundling Deal with Sony

MusicMatch (www.musicmatch.com) announced on Thursday that it signed a deal with Sony ( www.sony.com), to include its jukebox software into Sony-branded CD-R/RW drives.

MusicMatch also announced it has more than 20 million registered users, and has numbers saying that it has more users than its main competitor, RealNetworks' RealJukebox.

MusicMatch said that the deal was important because it brings more consumers to the world of digital music. According to Gartner Dataquest, more than 82.6 million CD-R/RW drives will ship worldwide in 2004 – which is more than six times the projected number of portable digital audio players (14.5 million).

"MusicMatch Jukebox makes it easy and fun for consumers to create custom CDs and portable music collections," said Yas Katori, director of disk storage products for Sony Electronics’ Core Technology Solutions Company. "MusicMatch Jukebox is a natural fit for Sony-branded CD-R/RW products and we are pleased to be offering this exciting digital music software to our customers."

"We are excited to be collaborating with a worldwide CD-R/RW drive leader like Sony to increase the proliferation of digital music around the globe," said Dennis Mudd, CEO of MusicMatch, Inc. "This is further validation that MUSICMATCH Jukebox offers the best integrated CD-burning solution for easily enjoying digital music both on and off the desktop."

Beginning this month, MusicMatch Jukebox will ship with seven internal and external Sony-branded CD-R/RW drives. By the end of the year, it will ship with 12 additional Sony drives. MusicMatch said it will ship with more than 60 percent of all CD-R/RW drives worldwide by year’s end.

MusicMatch is starting to get embroiled in legal battles because of its recently launched interactive Internet radio service, called Radio MX. Two weeks ago, the RIAA filed suit against interactive radio company Launch, claiming that its music service violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In return, Launch, MusicMatch and others asked the courts for clarification on the definition of interactive webcasts.

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