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Warner Music Streamlines Global CD Production With WAM!NET

Press release from the issuing company

CD Content Distributed to WMI Manufacturing Facilities Via WAM!NET; Shortened Publishing Deadlines and Cost Savings Bring Significant Competitive Advantage EAGAN, Minn. & LONDON- -Jan. 8, 2002-- Warner Music International (WMI), one of the leading international music companies, has selected WAM!NET's Optical Media Solution to provide fast, digital transmission and delivery of the company's audio masters and packaging graphics files from its studios in the U.K., U.S. and Tokyo to its manufacturing facilities in Alsdorf, Germany. With operations in more than 70 countries, WMI is home to some of the world's leading record companies and more than 1,000 artists. Supporting its production and commericalization efforts, WMI already has incorporated WAM!NET networking services to transfer CD packaging artwork and graphics files, including labels, inlays and booklets, between its international offices, creative agencies and production facilities, replacing the costly, time-intensive process of shipping content on removable media via physical couriers. In doing so, they have achieved significant improvement in efficiency and production, along with shorter publishing deadlines. With the Optical Media Solution, WMI now has expanded use of WAM!NET services to include digital distribution of CD audio master files for distribution and replication worldwide. "Time-to-market in music publishing is vital,'' said Dietmar Adrian, Manager of New Media IT, Warner Music Manufacturing Europe (WMME), the Alsdorf, Germany-based central production facility in Europe for WMI. "This is emphasized in the case of in-demand artists, for whom a typical run length is one million CDs. In the past, any alterations to graphics or audio files could result in a market introduction delay of several days or more due to the physical file shipping process. Today, with WAM!NET's digital content delivery services, we can update and re-transmit files within hours. This represents a mission-critical competitive advantage for WMI. While we are using the process for CD production today, we fully expect to convey DVD content via WAM!NET in the future.'' Each year, WMME produces approximately 155 million CDs and 60 million DVDs. The company handles the entire production process from receipt of CD/DVD masters from studios and packaging files from creative suppliers, to the final commercialized product, including disc replication, package printing, assembly and commercial distribution. With WAM!NET, WMME has been able to dramatically reduce turn times for disc and packaging production. "The delivery of media files via WAM!NET is a significant step forward in the professional audio production process,'' said Tom Moran, WAM!NET Optical Media Solution Architecture Manager. "The process of transferring files on removable media is fraught with technical challenges, including multiple format conversions and failed drives or media. As the industry's only viable alternative, we are helping music companies and their workflow partners to eliminate this outdated workflow and to quickly and cost-effectively convert to an all-digital, collaborative work environment.'' Adrian commented on the selection of WAM!NET. "As the producer of WMI CDs, it was important for us to find a cost-effective, reliable solution that could handle our high volume of graphics and audio file traffic. After thoroughly researching a range of digital transfer methods, we selected WAM!NET's content services which fully address these requirements. It goes without saying that transmission reliability is an important criterion and to date, WAM!NET's performance has been 100% dependable. We now encourage all audio and graphics data to be sent to us via WAM!NET.'' "The CD/DVD publishing industry is seeking to streamline its manufacturing processes in order to maximize efficiency and accelerate delivery to consumers,'' said Chris Friend, Managing Director, WAM!NET Europe. "WAM!NET is uniquely positioned to help CD/DVD content owners and production companies to fully address the requirement for fast, secure and guaranteed delivery of large CD/DVD data files, while supporting their efforts to manage increasingly complex workflows.''