Imation and DataPlay Announce Partnership - Above Their Investment
Wednesday, June 20, 2001
OAKDALE, Minn.--June 19, 2001--Imation Corp., a worldwide leader in data storage and information management, and DataPlay, the developer of the universal media format for all things digital, today announced they have finalized a series of agreements related to the upcoming introduction of DataPlay digital media. These agreements position Imation as the first U.S.-based manufacturer of both blank and pre-recorded DataPlay digital media, as well as the semi-exclusive worldwide distribution partner. "With its long history and development experience in optical storage technologies, Imation will be a valuable addition to DataPlay's team of strategic partners,'' said Steve Volk, chairman and CEO of DataPlay. "We will also benefit from Imation's extensive worldwide distribution capabilities as DataPlay penetrates the global market.'' DataPlay selected Imation to be the first U.S.-based manufacturer of both blank and pre-recorded DataPlay digital media based on its manufacturing excellence and technology leadership. Imation plans to manufacture the media in its Wahpeton, N.D. plant, which was recently selected by Industry Week, the leading manufacturing management magazine, as one of the "14 Best Manufacturing Plants in North America and Europe.'' The award recognizes world-class manufacturing capabilities based on the company's performance metrics and practices in such categories as benchmarking, community involvement, customer and supplier relations, employee involvement, environment and safety programs, inventory management, manufacturing operations and flexibility, market results, productivity, quality, and use of technology. "DataPlay digital media, with its unique size, capacity and functionality, has the potential to deliver the most universal, portable and cost-effective digital media solution available in the marketplace,'' said Steve Ladwig, senior vice president of Imation Corp., and president of Imation Data Storage and Information Management. "Imation is partnering with DataPlay because its technology shows strong growth potential and the opportunity to successfully compete against smaller form factor media already in the market.'' Imation was also among a group of leading consumer electronic device manufacturers, technology companies, and retail distributors who recently made significant investments in DataPlay's latest round of financing, which raised an additional $55 million. In addition to its position as a media manufacturer, Imation will be the semi-exclusive worldwide distribution partner of blank DataPlay digital media. DataPlay digital media enables access to all forms of digital content across all digital devices and platforms, including music, images, documents, software, games, video and more. One 500MB digital media can hold more than 11 hours of music downloads or five complete pre-recorded albums of CD-quality music, hundreds of high-resolution photographs, or dozens of games. In January of this year, DataPlay won the Best of Show Award for Mobile Devices and Best Overall Lifestyle Product at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, an event that has built a reputation for being the preeminent venue for the industry's most promising companies and products. DataPlay was recognized for its value, usability, inventiveness and design. DataPlay also received the CES Innovations 2001 award in the Blank Media category at the show in recognition of its innovative consumer electronics product. DataPlay is slated for commercial availability in Q4 2001.