Gateway spins Pressplay service on PCs

Computer maker Gateway on Friday announced a deal with online music provider Pressplay to load its PCs with 2,000 songs from hit pop stars such as Eminem, Bruce Springsteen, the Dixie Chicks and Frank Sinatra. The deal with Pressplay, a joint venture between Vivendi Universal and Sony, capped a turbulent week for Gateway, which saw its stock fall 17 percent Thursday after the troubled PC maker warned that fourth-quarter revenue might not measure up to expectations.

The news followed three consecutive quarters of losses at the Poway, Calif.-based computer maker, which has suffered from weak demand and stiff competition from rivals such as Dell Computer.

Under the Pressplay deal, Gateway consumers can access the Pressplay service and features in several ways, including a 90-day free subscription to the service, with 2,000 songs preloaded and available for streaming and downloading.

By loading it on a computer, consumers, especially those using dial-up connections, will save weeks of downloading time, said Michael Bebel, president and chief executive officer of Pressplay.

Other Pressplay plan options will also be available, some sold separately in hard drive packages. Gateway signed another deal with Pressplay rival's Rhapsody a few weeks ago, marking the first distribution pact between a computer maker and one of a current crop of subscription services, trying to lure users from unauthorized song-swap services that have emerged in the wake of now-idled Napster.

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News source: c|net

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