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Tech News (more headlines) 05-02-2003

Legitimate Entertainment Downloads Break Through To The Mass Market

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If you thought file-sharing was a dirty word, you might have to take a closer look because legitimate downloadable entertainment is now reaching the masses in record numbers. Digital distribution technology and services company Trymedia Systems announced today that its most popular and best-selling PC games now reach a mass-market audience of over 30 million consumers per month via its Distribution Partner Program. While teenagers may have been the earliest adopters of downloading and file-sharing in the Napster era, today mass market audiences of all ages, genders and income levels enjoy the simplicity of selecting game software in a digital format and the instant gratification of being able to download, play and buy immediately. In the first three months of 2003 alone, over six million legitimate game downloads were enabled by Trymedia's ActiveMARK technology.

Trymedia Systems has become one of the largest providers of legitimate entertainment content on the Web and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks. The company's Distribution Partner Program supplies popular consumer destination sites with videogames secured and commerce-enabled by Trymedia's ActiveMARK technology. The catalog of downloadable games is provided by Trymedia's leading clients in the software publishing industry with new titles added almost daily. Current distribution partners contributing to the 30 million per month audience of potential gamers include Tucows, Simtel, GameRevolution, Gamextazy, SearchAmateur and the EDGE Network as well as the top P2P Networks Altnet (the secure distribution partner for KaZaa), Grokster, iMesh, Morpheus, Bearshare and Xolox among others. In addition Trymedia is the primary content provider to the games channel within popular download manager application Download Accelerator Plus by Speedbit. (For a complete list of Trymedia's distribution partners go to http://www.trymedia.com/html/distribution.shtml .)

"By developing this channel, our Distribution Partners are contributing new revenues, new customers and new opportunities to the game industry that augment and extend the current retail model," said Trymedia's VP of Strategy and Communications, Gabe Zichermann.

Legitimate entertainment content, and games in particular, have attracted the attention of media companies and portals for their high level of consumer demand and ability to bring in revenue dollars to augment Internet advertising income. ActiveMARK-enabled games create a viral marketing opportunity because files can be shared freely by consumers. Games appear to the consumer in free trial mode, with sophisticated marketing interfaces that encourage them to purchase and unlock the full game. Anytime game files are shared among users -- whether by CD/DVD, Email, Peer-to-Peer, IM or any other method -- they revert to trial mode, creating a new sales opportunity. The 30 million marketing reach does not include the effects of viral marketing because person-to-person sharing is not tracked by the company.

"We chose Trymedia to help us distribute Pearl Harbor Zero Hour for several key reasons, not the least of which was the ability to reach beyond traditional channels without the constraint of limited shelf-space," said Josh Gordon, VP of Business Development for ASAP Games, the developers of TipTop Deluxe and other popular mass market videogames. "We've been very pleased with the return on our investment."

Trymedia's catalog of games available through its Distribution Partners includes hit titles such as the Worms, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Test Drive and Beach Head series as well as popular mainstream games including Yahtzee, Monopoly and Scrabble. Distribution Partners can quickly and easily add games content to their sites by partnering with Trymedia through its catalog portal, www.trygames.com, which provides both content linking and embedding capabilities as well as real-time online reporting. Partners share a variable percentage of revenues for games purchased through their site, and are provided with advanced marketing and merchandising support through Trymedia's Consumer Marketing Division.

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