Liquid Audio and Billboard Online Announce Web Audio Deal

Billboard Magazine announced an agreement this week with Liquid Audio, a developer of secure music-delivery systems on the Internet, to make Billboard's extensive database of album reviews and audio previews available through Billboard Online. The audio portion will be provided in Liquid Audio format by the Music Previews Network, the company that provides Music Previews for Billboard Online.

Billboard is opening its album-review archives (dating back to 1948 and encompassing tens of thousands of albums in all genres) to users on the Internet at no charge. Previously, access had been available to paid online subscribers only. And, with the addition of Liquid Audio technology, music fans can sample and preview album tracks in stereo using Liquid Audio's Liquid MusicPlayer.

"Billboard has been the leading source of music-industry news for decades," said Ken Schlager, director of strategic development for the 103-year-old magazine. "Now, through Billboard Online, we are able to make vast amounts of this essential information readily available to the consumer. By featuring Liquid Audio samples in conjunction with tens of thousands of Billboard album reviews, we are creating the definitive consumer music-information and evaluation resource."

Six decades of fully searchable Billboard album reviews and high-quality Liquid Audio music previews---from Paula Cole to Elvis Presley, from Jimi Hendrix to Benny Goodman, from Chuck Berry to Yo-Yo Ma---will be available. Because of the extensive depth and breadth of the historic archives, Billboard and Liquid Audio will begin their alliance by making the most recent album reviews and music samples available to users, then work in reverse chronological order to roll out the remainder of the content.

The Liquid MusicPlayer is available for free user download via Billboard Online or Liquid Audio.