N2K gets musical with PointCast

“Virtual jukebox” and Internet-based music provider N2K Inc. has forged an alliance with “push” technology pioneers PointCast Inc. to provide original and comprehensive music content for a number of PointCast “channels,” including the company’s new College Network.

PointCast was responsible for being the first Internet news- and information-based service to “push” constantly updated news, stocks info, sports scores and the like to a user’s desktop computer, and N2K has made great strides in archiving, delivering and customizing content for Net-based services up and down the bandwidth.

The deal calls for N2K to provide tailored music for PointCast’s College Network and Business Network sites. Additionally, N2K’s Music Boulevard site (www.musicblvd.com) will become the preferred online music retailer for the College Network’s Music Zone “channel,” with refers from the latter pointing to the former for online purchases.

N2K also will supply music-themed editorial and informational content to PointCast’s two networks on a 24-hour basis.

The deal, done Monday, is significant to the ongoing commercialization of the Internet because it shows the quickening tempo of alliances and cross-referencing that the Web is experiencing. PointCast, feeling pressure from the “push” (or broadcast network-style) technology incorporated in Microsoft Corp.’s upcoming edition of its Internet Explorer Web browser, is in a particular hurry to nail down content for its own channels before Microsoft and its partners get online and operational, probably later this year.

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