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BESTBUY GEARS UP FOR WEB DOMINATION
Site To Offer Digital Downloads Thanks To Partnerships With Liquid Audio, Supertracks
Already dominating the brick-and-mortar world, BestBuy is now positioning itself for an equally big impact in the online world. The soon-to-be-launched BestBuy.com will not only serve as an e-commerce portal for the company's tech-oriented goodies but will also offer digital music downloads for consumers, thanks to partnerships with both Liquid Audio and Supertracks.

"BestBuy.com intends to offer our customers the best possible online shopping experience, including the broadest assortment of downloadable music," said Scott Young, VP and GM of entertainment for BestBuy.com. "We have a proven track record in creating new markets and making technology easy to use and affordable to customers."

BestBuy.com plans to use Liquid Audio's secure music delivery software and services to provide digital downloads from 8,500 artists on 1,400 labels. Liquid Audio's retail integration and fulfillment system (coolly dubbed RIFFS, despite the lack of a second "F") will allow BestBuy.com to sell more than 70,000 singles with CD-quality sound, online lyrics, liner notes and album art. Liquid's open distribution system also enables consumers to download music in the format they want, including MP3, Dolby Digital AAC, Sony ATRAC3 and Windows Media.

Supertracks is a B2B company that works with record labels to facilitate the release of music and content. The company also provides infrastructure support for music retailers and facilitates content delivery and data tracking. Supertracks is currently EMI Recorded Music's preferred solutions provider for digital distribution of music.

And if you're still suffering from insomnia, please visit the company's Web site where you can immerse yourself in exciting phrases such as "end-to-end solutions," "maximizing distribution elements" and "flexible architectures."

While there has been no further announcement from BestBuy.com about the pricing structure of its downloadable music, insiders speculate that tracks will cost in the neighborhood of $2-$3 apiece, or roughly the price of the entire new Britney Spears album at the brick-and-mortar BestBuy now that MAP is no more.

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