MILPITAS, CA - March 4, 1999
- Applying its widely recognized
expertise in audio, music and the Internet, Creative Technology
Ltd. (Nasdaq: CREAF), the renowned innovator of market-leading
multimedia solutions for personal entertainment, today formally
announced its highly-anticipated foray into the portable digital audio market.
Backed by strong industry support and more than 10 years of PC
audio experience, Creative intends on driving the technology,
direction and strategy associated with the creation, playback
and distribution of digital audio content via the Internet. Creative
will discuss and demonstrate this at the New York Music &
Internet Expo being held this weekend, March 6-7 at the New Yorker
Hotel in New York.
"The market has been waiting for Creative to 'enter' the
portable digital audio category based on its award-winning digital
audio solutions," said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and chief executive
officer of Creative. "Taking these solutions beyond the
desktop is a natural extension of our Personal Digital Entertainment
strategy. We are leveraging our core competence in digital audio
from semiconductors, to hardware design, algorithm design, software
development and content distribution over the Internet to bring
compelling portable digital audio products to the market."
Creative's ideal position to move digital audio into the mainstream
is exemplified by its Sound Blaster PC audio standard -
of which there are more than 75 million installed. At the New
York Music & Internet Expo, Creative will demonstrate enhanced
digital audio playback using technologies from its Sound Blaster
Live! audio platform including its Environmental Audio technology.
Creative's expertise in the music industry through its E-mu/Ensoniq
subsidiaries will greatly facilitate digital audio content creation.
Creative plans to leverage its highly successful Web site and
its more than two years of experience with its Creative Inspire
Internet-based digital entertainment platform to greatly
broaden distribution of digital audio content. With this, Creative
plans on offering hardware, software, content, customization and
delivery capabilities as well as helping establish key standards
for digital audio entertainment.
Creative today introduced its Project NOMAD line of portable
digital audio players and supporting infrastructure. The Project
NOMAD line will offer the latest in digital audio advancements
as well as enhanced functionality enabled by Creative's proprietary
technology. The Project NOMAD product line consists of
next-generation, compact, affordable portable digital audio
players that enable the user to download a variety of content
from the Internet or to record from the user's existing CD collection.
Experience and Expertise
By combining its years of PC audio expertise - and collaborative
efforts with its subsidiaries E-mu Systems and Ensoniq, both music
technology leaders highly respected by recording artists around
the world - Creative's ability to drive the portable digital audio
market is unmatched in the computer hardware industry. Entering
the digital audio market is a natural next step for Creative -
a company dedicated to on-going advancements in sound technology
and Personal Digital Entertainment.
With the emergence of the popular MP3 compression standard, self-publishing
has become a reality for thousands of aspiring musicians and Creative
plans to play a significant role in helping them achieve their
goals. Distributing digital audio content via the Internet is
not new for Creative. In fact, Creative has provided musicians
with an online community, music resource and forum for digital
music publication via the Creative Inspire Web site for
Creative intends to take its online expertise, derived from its
Inspire site - which has more than 400,000 registered users
- and apply it to a new Web presence supporting a myriad of digital
audio formats and content. This Web presence will include the
involvement of a number of new strategic partners who will provide
a variety of spoken word and digital music content. Some will
provide licensed MP3 content and others will provide encoding
and conversion technology. These partnerships will be announced
at a special press conference scheduled to take place on Saturday,
March 6 at 2:30 p.m. EST, at the New York M&I Expo.
Personal Digital Entertainment
Creative's Project NOMAD represents part of the company's
newly announced Personal Digital Entertainment (PDE) strategy.
With PDE, Creative is focused on leveraging the power of the
PC to create audio and video entertainment appliances that can
be used beyond the desktop. Creative sees the portable PDE category
- including the Project NOMAD line - as an entirely new
business opportunity that builds on its expertise as the dominant
provider of leading-edge components of PC entertainment.
Creative Technology Ltd. develops, manufactures and markets a
wide array of advanced multimedia solutions for the PC, entertainment,
education, music and productivity tools markets. Creative's products
are marketed through the OEM, systems integrator and retail channels
under a variety of trademarks, including the "Blaster"
family name. With the new Sound Blaster PCI standard, Creative
has produced a solution that utilizes a combination of hardware
and software for near-perfect compatibility with existing DOS
and Windows titles. Creative's corporate headquarters and primary
manufacturing are based in Singapore, with sales, distribution
and research and development being carried out through an extensive,
global network of subsidiaries located in North America, Europe,
Asia and Africa.
Sound Blaster and Blaster are registered trademarks, and Environmental
Audio and Creative Inspire are trademarks of Creative Technology
Ltd. All other products mentioned herein are trademarks of their
respective owners and are hereby recognized as such.
Safe Harbor for Forward Looking Statements:
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters
set forth are forward looking statements that are subject to certain
risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those set forth in the forward looking statements.
Such risks and uncertainties include, among others: potential
fluctuations in quarterly results due to the seasonality of Creative's
business and the difficulty of projecting such fluctuations; reductions
in the market value of products sold by Creative, including increases
in supply or declines in demand or prices for CD-ROM or DVD drives,
board and chip-level products, and software products; the short
product cycles that characterize most of Creative's products;
the increasing proliferation of sound functionality at the chip
and operating system levels; Creative's reliance on sole sources
for many of its chips and other key components; the timely ramp,
delivery and market acceptance of new products, including Creative's
next generation audio, graphics accelerator, CD-ROM and DVD drives
and communications products; the volatility of share prices for
companies in Creative's industry and the effect of those prices
or other events beyond Creative's control; and other risk factors
described in Creative's filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission over the past twelve months.