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Microsoft Makes Deal With Epic for Music Video Downloads

17 Mar, 2006 By: Stephanie Prange

Microsoft Corp. and music giant Epic Records today announced an agreement to make available a year of exclusive artist content and high-definition music video downloads free for all Xbox 360 gamers.

Over the next year, Xbox 360 and Epic Records will showcase 12 up-and-coming artists through the “Artist of the Month” program via the Xbox Live service.

Through the alliance, Xbox Live members can enter a monthly sweepstakes with a prize of playing games against some of the hottest musicians through the Xbox Live “Game with Fame” program.

Kicking off the program on Xbox Live is British singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield, who recently captured her second Top 10 hit in the United States with the smash single "Unwritten." "Unwritten" can be downloaded free on Xbox Live starting March 17, and a sweepstakes later this month will award a lucky winner an opportunity to play against Bedingfield during a Game with Fame session in April.

"Our goal has always been to make Xbox Live a cutting-edge entertainment experience," said Peter Moore, corporate VP of the interactive entertainment business at Microsoft. "This agreement with Epic Records offers our members exclusive artistic content directly from the source. With Artist of the Month we will be providing exactly what music-loving gamers want: brand-new, exclusive music videos that can be downloaded quickly, easily and free of charge."

"The fusion of music and video games now plays a significant role in breaking artists and enhancing the video game experience; the cross-cultivation of the two mediums helps new games and new artists thrive together," said Charlie Walk, president of Epic Records. "Through this alliance, Epic and Xbox show that we are in one business — exciting young adults and leading them to the art of discovery."

Each month Microsoft and Epic will announce the new Artist of the Month along with exclusive benefits for Xbox 360 gamers around the world. Xbox Live members will be able to download featured music videos from Xbox Live Marketplace at no additional charge and watch exclusive interviews downloaded directly to their Xbox 360 system.

"This program really taps into the passion and excitement that surrounds both video gaming and music," said Cory Llewellyn, VP of Epic Records digital marketing and promotion. "We are excited to bring our strong roster of developing artists together with Xbox Live for a variety of great experiences for consumers."

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