Feeling the 'URGE,' MTV Networks Announces a New Digital Music Service in Collaboration With Microsoft

URGE Unites Powerful Music DNA of MTV, VH1 and CMT With Microsoft's

Industry-Leading Technology and Consumer Reach to Deliver an Immersive

Entertainment Experience



Dec 13, 2005, 00:00 ET from MTV Networks

    NEW YORK and REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV Networks, a
 division of Viacom Inc., (NYSE:   VIA and VIA.B) and Microsoft Corp. today
 announced they have collaborated on the design and development of MTV
 Networks' new digital music service called URGE. Set to debut domestically in
 2006, URGE will provide an immersive music experience and will be integrated
 into a forthcoming version of Microsoft(R) Windows Media(R) Player. The
 collaboration unites MTV Networks' music DNA, marketing strengths and powerful
 MTV, VH1 and CMT brands with the technology leadership and consumer reach of
 Microsoft.
     URGE will offer rich entertainment programming and innovative tools
 designed to guide musical discovery and connect fans to the artists and music
 they love. Offering more than 2 million songs from the major labels and
 thousands of independents, URGE will encompass all musical genres, from
 alt-country to zydeco. In addition to a broad catalogue of music choices, URGE
 will deliver a deep well of exclusive MTV Networks programming and original,
 hand-crafted content.
     URGE has garnered early support from Clive Davis, Chairman and CEO BMG
 U.S., Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Recorded Music for Warner Music
 Group, and musical superstars Alicia Keys, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and
 Gretchen Wilson.
     "We live to connect artists and fans in the most imaginative ways
 possible," said Van Toffler, MTV Networks Music Group President. "With our new
 service, we will be able to satisfy music lovers' urges for all things music.
 In many ways, URGE will serve as a 'psychic concierge,' introducing fans to
 new artists and helping them to develop a deeper connection to old favorites."
     "By combining our expertise in digital media with the music leadership and
 marketing savvy of MTV Networks, we have created a powerful and unique way to
 experience music," said Blair Westlake, Corporate Vice President of Media
 Technology and Convergence at Microsoft. "This landmark collaboration will
 bring innovative new experiences to millions of music fans."
     "As with everything we do at MTV Networks, every element of URGE is being
 developed with our audience in mind," said Jason Hirschhorn, MTV Networks'
 Chief Digital Officer. "Beyond providing a simple transactional service, URGE
 will provide a musical playground where fans can explore, customize, discover
 and download new music."
     Upon its debut next year, URGE will be promoted through multiple venues,
 including the MTV, VH1 and CMT channels, which on average collectively reach
 more than 165 million viewers U.S., as well as through the respective brands'
 Web sites and Urge.com.  Additional details of the new service will be
 unveiled in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las
 Vegas.
 
     About MTV Networks
     MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE:   VIA, VIA.B), is
 one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all
 media platforms.  MTV Networks, with 100 channels worldwide, owns and operates
 the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2,
 VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT,
 NOGGIN, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a
 package of 13 digital services, all of these networks are trademarks of MTV
 Networks.  MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust
 consumer products businesses and its more than 80 interactive properties
 worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television
 services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication
 deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.
 
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
 full potential.
     Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United
 States and/or other countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners
 
                                    ADDENDUM
 
     URGE has garnered early support from Clive Davis, Chairman and CEO, BMG
 U.S., Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Recorded Music for Warner Music
 Group, and musical superstars Alicia Keys, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and
 Gretchen Wilson:
     "Discovery is an important part of the music business -- from tapping new
 talent to introducing them to new music fans," said Clive Davis, Chairman and
 CEO, BMG U.S. "The upcoming music service, URGE, will serve as a powerful new
 way to connect new and established talent to fans, turning them on to new
 music they otherwise may never have been exposed to."
     "With URGE, MTV Networks is again at the forefront of revolutionizing
 where and how our combined audiences across the globe can connect with the
 music and the artists they love," said Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO of U.S.
 Recorded Music for Warner Music Group. "Urge will join the array of powerful
 new platforms that provide Warner Music Group with an innovative way to launch
 new artists and celebrate established favorites. With MTV Networks' expertise
 and global reach, it promises to be the ultimate full service music
 experience."
     "I grew up watching MTV and it's been an important part of how I connect
 with my fans," said Alicia Keys. "It's great news that the same people who
 bring you MTV everyday are launching what is sure to be the deepest, richest
 music service on the net. URGE will be the destination for passionate music
 fans who want to discover and connect with the artists and music they love."
     "VH1's been a great supporter of Coldplay and they really know how to do
 music right," said lead singer Chris Martin. "With URGE we look forward to
 reaching even more fans in the online music community, adding a whole new
 dimension to their music experience."
     "CMT already gives country music artists, like me, great exposure to our
 fans," said Gretchen Wilson.  "Now with Urge, millions more will get a chance
 to check country music's rich heritage."
 
 

SOURCE MTV Networks
    NEW YORK and REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV Networks, a
 division of Viacom Inc., (NYSE:   VIA and VIA.B) and Microsoft Corp. today
 announced they have collaborated on the design and development of MTV
 Networks' new digital music service called URGE. Set to debut domestically in
 2006, URGE will provide an immersive music experience and will be integrated
 into a forthcoming version of Microsoft(R) Windows Media(R) Player. The
 collaboration unites MTV Networks' music DNA, marketing strengths and powerful
 MTV, VH1 and CMT brands with the technology leadership and consumer reach of
 Microsoft.
     URGE will offer rich entertainment programming and innovative tools
 designed to guide musical discovery and connect fans to the artists and music
 they love. Offering more than 2 million songs from the major labels and
 thousands of independents, URGE will encompass all musical genres, from
 alt-country to zydeco. In addition to a broad catalogue of music choices, URGE
 will deliver a deep well of exclusive MTV Networks programming and original,
 hand-crafted content.
     URGE has garnered early support from Clive Davis, Chairman and CEO BMG
 U.S., Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Recorded Music for Warner Music
 Group, and musical superstars Alicia Keys, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and
 Gretchen Wilson.
     "We live to connect artists and fans in the most imaginative ways
 possible," said Van Toffler, MTV Networks Music Group President. "With our new
 service, we will be able to satisfy music lovers' urges for all things music.
 In many ways, URGE will serve as a 'psychic concierge,' introducing fans to
 new artists and helping them to develop a deeper connection to old favorites."
     "By combining our expertise in digital media with the music leadership and
 marketing savvy of MTV Networks, we have created a powerful and unique way to
 experience music," said Blair Westlake, Corporate Vice President of Media
 Technology and Convergence at Microsoft. "This landmark collaboration will
 bring innovative new experiences to millions of music fans."
     "As with everything we do at MTV Networks, every element of URGE is being
 developed with our audience in mind," said Jason Hirschhorn, MTV Networks'
 Chief Digital Officer. "Beyond providing a simple transactional service, URGE
 will provide a musical playground where fans can explore, customize, discover
 and download new music."
     Upon its debut next year, URGE will be promoted through multiple venues,
 including the MTV, VH1 and CMT channels, which on average collectively reach
 more than 165 million viewers U.S., as well as through the respective brands'
 Web sites and Urge.com.  Additional details of the new service will be
 unveiled in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las
 Vegas.
 
     About MTV Networks
     MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE:   VIA, VIA.B), is
 one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all
 media platforms.  MTV Networks, with 100 channels worldwide, owns and operates
 the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2,
 VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT,
 NOGGIN, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a
 package of 13 digital services, all of these networks are trademarks of MTV
 Networks.  MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust
 consumer products businesses and its more than 80 interactive properties
 worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television
 services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication
 deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.
 
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
 full potential.
     Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United
 States and/or other countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners
 
                                    ADDENDUM
 
     URGE has garnered early support from Clive Davis, Chairman and CEO, BMG
 U.S., Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Recorded Music for Warner Music
 Group, and musical superstars Alicia Keys, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and
 Gretchen Wilson:
     "Discovery is an important part of the music business -- from tapping new
 talent to introducing them to new music fans," said Clive Davis, Chairman and
 CEO, BMG U.S. "The upcoming music service, URGE, will serve as a powerful new
 way to connect new and established talent to fans, turning them on to new
 music they otherwise may never have been exposed to."
     "With URGE, MTV Networks is again at the forefront of revolutionizing
 where and how our combined audiences across the globe can connect with the
 music and the artists they love," said Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO of U.S.
 Recorded Music for Warner Music Group. "Urge will join the array of powerful
 new platforms that provide Warner Music Group with an innovative way to launch
 new artists and celebrate established favorites. With MTV Networks' expertise
 and global reach, it promises to be the ultimate full service music
 experience."
     "I grew up watching MTV and it's been an important part of how I connect
 with my fans," said Alicia Keys. "It's great news that the same people who
 bring you MTV everyday are launching what is sure to be the deepest, richest
 music service on the net. URGE will be the destination for passionate music
 fans who want to discover and connect with the artists and music they love."
     "VH1's been a great supporter of Coldplay and they really know how to do
 music right," said lead singer Chris Martin. "With URGE we look forward to
 reaching even more fans in the online music community, adding a whole new
 dimension to their music experience."
     "CMT already gives country music artists, like me, great exposure to our
 fans," said Gretchen Wilson.  "Now with Urge, millions more will get a chance
 to check country music's rich heritage."
 
 SOURCE  MTV Networks