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UPDATE: Standard launches music downloading service
10/14/2003

TORONTO - Standard Broadcasting Corp. has launched Puretracks, the first Canadian music downloading service of its kind.

Puretracks, a pay for music site (www.puretracks.com), will sell on line access to songs from all major record labels the same way that Apple's iTunes does. However, Puretracks will work with Windows.

Standard will operate Puretracks through its Moontaxi Media division. Moontaxi is an online music distributor dedicated to delivering high quality music content in both streaming and download formats (www.moontaxi.com) and features over 100 Internet music channels across a wide range of music genres, as well as an on-demand streaming service (www.mymoontaxi.com) dedicated to jazz and classical fans.

Canadians can purchase digital music files directly for as little as 99 cents a song. The puretracks.com site will feature exclusive tracks and unique content, beginning today with exclusive songs from Sam Roberts, Sarah Harmer, Remy Shand, Elvis Presley and Kathleen Edwards.

"Puretracks is what a download service is supposed to be - the pure enjoyment of music straight from the source," said Alistair Mitchell, co-CEO, Moontaxi Media. "Canadian consumers have told us what they want, and what they would pay for, in a download service, and we have listened."

With content from all five major record labels as well as a growing list of Canadian and international independents, Puretracks provides Canadians with secure access to Windows Media-format digital music. Music fans nation-wide will be able to search and download from a rapidly growing catalogue of music by artists from around the world, crossing virtually all musical genres, and including both emerging and well-known Canadian artists.

Puretracks.com is launching with 175,000 tracks and the catalogue will grow to 250,000 within the next four weeks and 300,000 by year-end.

The music of internationally renowned artists such as Coldplay, The Who, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Beck, Fifty Cent, Shania Twain, Neil Young, Faith Hill, Ben Harper, Eminem, Frank Sinatra, Norah Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, KISS, Bob Marley and many others is available right now.

"Following extensive market research, we're proud to offer a music downloading service with the international selection, unique Canadian content, high quality and great price Canadian consumers have asked for," said Derek van der Plaat, co-CEO, Moontaxi Media. "We believe the launch of Puretracks represents a watershed moment in how Canadians purchase the music they love."

Puretracks downloads are burnable and portable, and feature 192K Windows Media files, representing the highest quality digital music files available on the net.

"The Puretracks.com site makes it easy to buy music over the Internet without the worry of viruses and spyware, and features like sampling and exclusive tracks give consumers all the more reason to visit," added Randy Lennox, president, Universal Music Canada.

"Puretracks delivers great value to consumers but also addresses music ownership rights for artists and the recording industry," said Denise Donlon, president, Sony Music Canada. "It's a win-win combination that's a proven success south of the border and promises to help strengthen Canada's music scene."

The company plans to launch a French language site by the end of 2003.

The extensive catalogue will be expanded continuously, and will feature exclusives, rarities and pre-releases.

Puretracks is partnering with retailers, ISPs and media companies to offer digital music distribution as part of their retail offering under a "white label" program.

Music can be purchased right now on Puretracks.com, anywhere in Canada only. Most songs are priced at 99 cents and most albums at $9.99.

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