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Amazon.com Launches New Music Spotlight with Free MP3 Song Downloads From Independent Artists

Amazon.com introduces new way for independent artists, bands, and labels to promote their music to 10.7 million customers worldwide

SEATTLE, September 16, 1999--Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the No. 1 online music retailer, today announced the addition of New Music Spotlight, an area of the Amazon.com Music Store devoted to promoting independent artists' music. This new section will feature free MP3 downloads of songs from independent artists, bands, and labels participating in Amazon.com Advantage, the free program that enables independent artists to sell their CDs on Amazon.com and gain worldwide distribution.

A part of Amazon.com's Free Downloads area, the New Music Spotlight features free MP3 downloads from more than 30 of the top Amazon.com Advantage artists in every genre from hip-hop to classical to alternative, selected by Amazon.com's expert editors. All songs featured in this new area are also available for purchase on CD at Amazon.com.

"We know from experience that the combination of editorial coverage and free MP3 downloads is a powerful sales propellant," said Jennifer Cast, general manager of Amazon.com's music store. "New Music Spotlight gives our top-selling Amazon.com Advantage artists a very effective way to promote and sell their music to millions of music fans."

The New Music Spotlight is a powerful way for independent artists to broaden their audiences. Now, Amazon.com's millions of customers can listen to songs in genres of music that are underexposed both in the mainstream media and on the Internet. New Music Spotlight MP3's include: classical music from the San Francisco Girl's Chorus; didgeridoo and mandolin from the Australian band Brother; Christian rap from Father Stan Fortuna; San Antonio Latino blues band Randy Garibay and Cats Don't Sleep; and Celtic electronica from Ninian Hawick.

Amazon.com Advantage for music solves the biggest problem faced by independent artists, bands, and labels: securing widespread distribution of their CDs. Launched in November of 1998, Amazon.com Advantage for music is free to join and allows independents to sell their CDs via the Amazon.com music store to more than 10.7 million customers worldwide. Each artist's CDs are featured on their own page in Amazon.com's music store, just like titles from major artists and labels.

"Our sales have quadrupled since joining Amazon.com Advantage six months ago," said Barbara Keith of the Stone Coyotes, a New Music Spotlight band. "Amazon.com is bringing our music directly to the people so it can be tried in the court of public opinion, not just in the office of a record executive." Keith added that "unlike top 40 radio, Amazon.com is putting independent artists in the same arena with major artists. You can have the best lemonade in the world, but in order to sell it, you need to be on the right corner with a lot of cars going by; Amazon.com is the right corner, and there are more than 10 million cars going by."

Independent artists and bands featured at the New Music Spotlight at launch:

Ashcan School Seattle, Washington
Ben Wa California
Bird York Los Angeles, California
Bottomland Arlington, Virginia
Brenda Wong Aoki San Francisco, California
Brent Burns Gulf Shores, Alabama
Brilliant Trees Dublin, Ireland
Brother Australia
Deborah Harry & Robert Jacks New York, New York
Deborah Henson-Conant Cambridge, Massachusetts
Deirdre Flint Philadelphia, Pennsylvani
Fisher California
Fr. Stan Fortuna Pleasantville, New York
John Huling Boulder, Colorado
LA Symphony Los Angeles, California
Maroon Colon Des Moines, Washington
Mary Prankster Annapolis, Maryland
My Scarlet Life Chicago, Illinois
Nadine St. Louis, Missouri
Nina Storey Denver, Colorado
Ninian Hawick Stillwater, Minnesota
Patrick O'Hearn Bat Cave, North Carolina
Perla Batalla Ojai, California
Peter Mayer Palm City, Florida
Randy Garibay & Cats Don't Sleep San Antonio, Texas
SF Girls Chorus California
Sanjay Mishra with Jerry Garci Arlington, Virgini
Science Park Boston, Massachusetts
Smoking Popes Algonguin, Illinois
Soma Sonic Ontario, Canada
The Stone Coyotes Boston, Massachusetts
The High Tide Steel Drum Band Elkridge, Maryland
The Mike Corrado Band Jacksonville, North Carolina
The Puddle Jumpers Seattle, Washington
The Shroud Fresno, California
Tim Moyer Villa Park, California

Amazon.com's Free Downloads area was launched in June 1999. Currently, Amazon.com offers music fans 60 free full-length song downloads from 40 established recording artists and 36 tracks from 36 emerging artists, comprising the largest selection of free downloadable music of any major online music retailer.

New downloadable tracks will continually be added to the New Music Spotlight section as they are selected by Amazon.com's editorial staff. Amazon.com's Free Digital Downloads section can be accessed at: www.amazon.com/music-downloads; for information about Amazon.com's Advantage for music program, or to join, visit: www.amazon.com/advantage/music.

About Amazon.com's Music Store

Amazon.com's music store, which opened in June of 1998, is the No. 1 online music store, and offers shoppers more than 25 times the CD selection of the typical music store at everyday savings of up to 40 percent. The Amazon.com music store also features a free digital downloads area, reviews by Amazon.com staff editors and nationally known critics, song samples, artist interviews, lists of essential albums by genre, thousands of bestseller lists, music in the news, and personalized music recommendations.

About Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest SelectionTM with online auctions, toys, electronics, free electronic greeting cards, and more than 4.7 million book, music-CD, video, DVD, and computer-game titles. Amazon.com seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. As part of its efforts to provide the best shopping experience for customers, Amazon.com provides secure credit-card payment, personalized recommendations, streamlined ordering through 1-ClickSM technology, and hassle-free auction bidding with Bid-ClickSM.

Amazon.com operates two international Web sites:

www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. Amazon.com also operates LiveBid.com (www.livebid.com), the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.

In addition, Amazon.com has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient: drugstore.com, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at www.drugstore.com; Pets.com, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at www.pets.com; HomeGrocer.com, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at www.homegrocer.com; and Gear.com, which offers brand name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at www.gear.com.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.

Amazon.com, Amazon.com Auctions, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Selection, Bid-Click, and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc., or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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