At a press conference this morning in the heart of Microsoft’s glasshouse, the company announced an online video partnership with MTV Networks International and Sony BMG, because according to John Mangelaars, VP of Microsoft Online Services Group, “video is exploding”. Just cottoned on, eh Microsoft?
Adding to their MSN video service, which is free to users, clips from MTV programs including South Park, Pimp My Ride and Punk’d will be available for live-streaming straight from the MSN Video portal, and later in the year, on Messenger TV, which will allow those using the IM service to share their favourite clips and watch them straight in the conversation box.
Sony BMG has joined up to offer music videos, interviews, backstage footage and the like for all their artists, and as with MTV, will gain revenue through a lucrative in-video advertising scheme which will show short ads before the clips are streamed.
Currently MSN video has an audience of over 100 million in Europe, already offering clips from National Geographic, iFilm and the Discovery Channel.
Most of Western Europe and the UK will be able to use this service shortly, with Denmark, Belgium and Norway adding MTV and Sony BMG’s content later in the year.