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Gateway Shipping PCs With Music Software

For a monthly fee, consumers can download music from Listen.com.

November 20, 2002|Peter J. Brennan | Bloomberg News

Gateway Inc., maker of personal computers, joined with online music service Listen.com Inc. on Tuesday to offer consumers subscriptions for downloading songs from the Internet.

Gateway is shipping desktop PCs with software that enables them to subscribe to Listen.com for $9.95 a month. Customers can sample a selection of 250,000 songs and record selected tracks onto compact discs for 99 cents apiece.

Gateway, which posted losses in seven of the last eight quarters, is trying to increase sales by offering customers new ways to use computers. Listen.com offers co-branded versions of its service through several companies, including cable television operator Charter Communications Inc. and Hughes Electronics Corp.'s DirecTV.

Closely held Listen.com competes with Pressplay and MusicNet. Listen.com has contracts to provide music from five of the world's largest music companies, Bertelsmann's BMG, EMI Group's EMI Recorded Music, Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment, Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group and AOL Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Music Group.

Shares of Poway, Calif.-based Gateway fell 23 cents to $3.51 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have dropped 56% this year.

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