Music Retailers Form Echo--Retailer-Driven Digital Music Consortium

Jan 28, 2003

Best Buy Co., Inc., Hastings Entertainment, Inc., Tower Records, Trans World Entertainment Corporation operator of FYE Stores (For Your Entertainment), Virgin Entertainment Group, and Wherehouse Music have announced the formation of Echo a retailer-driven digital music consortium committed to bridging the gap between brick and mortar and digital music distribution. The consortium, created through an investment in Los Angeles-based Echo, will seek competitive licenses to enable its retail members to effectively compete in the digital music marketplace and to launch a new era of consumer-focused digital music offerings.  Once licenses are obtained, retailers will be able to deliver digital music products and services through individually branded, or Echo co-branded offerings. The consortium will build upon the in-store marketing capabilities of its retail partners to drive consumer awareness of digital music offerings, and will help drive adoption of new, advanced digital music services as they evolve. Best Buy, Hastings, Tower, Trans World, Virgin, and Wherehouse each own equity in Echo and the retail founders collectively own a controlling majority of Echo.

(, (, (, (