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Borders Joins Digital Music Consortium

19 Mar, 2003 By: Hive News

Echo announced today that Borders Inc. has joined its group of music retailers that joined to bridge the gap between brick-and-mortar and digital music distribution.

Retailers Best Buy, Co., Hastings Entertainment, Tower Records, Trans World Entertainment, Virgin Entertainment and Wherehouse Music founded the Los Angeles-based Echo consortium in January. Borders joins Echo as an equal shareholder with the founders.

"Echo welcomes the addition of Borders as an endorsement of Echo's vision. Echo's approach to working with content providers to develop an industry-leading digital music platform represents a real opportunity for music retailers to create stronger relationships with their customers," stated Dan Hart, CEO of Echo. "This is great for Echo, Borders, and the digital music industry. Borders' industry stature and significant consumer presence will strengthen Echo's ability to help retailers extend traditional customer relationships into the world of digital music."

The book and music retailer will focus on building a licensing and technology platform for the sale and delivery of digital music, as well as bringing additional marketing capabilities and industry knowledge to the consortium.

"Borders has a strong commitment to providing our customers with an incredible variety in books, music and movies as well as an appealing shopping experience. By working with Echo, Borders will extend that commitment into digital music delivery," said Michael Spinozzi, EVP and chief marketing officer for Borders Group.

Echo is seeking competitive licenses from the recording industry to enable the mass marketing and growth of paid digital music products and services through a variety of online and in-store offerings. The joint venture seeks to deliver digital music products and services through individually branded or co-branded consumer offerings.

Borders has more than 435 book and music superstores worldwide. New York investment bank Sonenshine Pastor advised Borders in the transaction.

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