Gateways to Come Loaded with Pressplay Tunes

  |  December 6, 2002   |  Comments

Just in time for a holiday advertising campaign, Gateway signs a deal with Pressplay to pre-load the music service -- and lots of tunes -- on new computers.

The online music business just gets more competitive every day, so why not pre-load your service on new computers in an OEM deal?

Gateway liked the idea so much that it's teaming up with online music subscription service Pressplay to do just that in a deal that increases exposure for the music service and gives the computer maker's marketing department something to promote besides a talking cow.

The companies said that the Gateway Music Vault by Pressplay "breaks new ground" by giving consumers the opportunity to buy a PC that's pre-loaded with up to 2,000 hit songs. Of course, the listener needs to sign up for the service to hear most of them.

The new service will be featured in Gateway's national television advertising as well as in Web, catalog and email marketing campaigns.

Los Angeles-based Gateway said that all of its consumer desktop PCs will be pre-loaded and shipped with the Pressplay app and consumers can purchase a "Mega Pack" or a "Genre Pack" of pre-loaded songs. The app also will be marketed to those who already have a Gateway machine.

The music will include everything from tunes by Eminem and Bruce Springsteen to the Dixie Chicks and Frank Sinatra. Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.

The appeal here, in addition to the preloaded software, is the savings in download time. Gateway said users can save literally weeks of downloading time, considering the Mega Pack has 8.5 gigabytes or 2,000 songs.

Gateway could use a boost; it's stock fell 17 percent this week after the company warned that fourth quarter earnings and revenues may not measure up to analysts' expectations. The stock closed Thursday at $3.42.

Pressplay, a joint venture between Vivendi Universal and Sony, said that the music can be enjoyed while online or off-line, burned to CDs, transferred to portable devices, or kept on the PC.

The Mega Pack, including a 90-day free trial of the Pressplay service, is available through two different options: pre-loaded on a Gateway PC, or sold separately as part of a 40 gig hard drive package that costs $149.99. Subscription pricing options start at $9.95 per month.

Gateway signed another deal, with Listen.com's Rhapsody a few weeks ago. The company was criticized earlier this year when it ran TV ads showing CEO Ted Waitt and a cow -- the company's mascot -- singing along to a homemade CD, directing viewers to a Web site that encouraged them to "protect their digital music rights."

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