A beta version of MSN Video has been launched, offering a free streaming media service to MSN broadband subscribers. Currently, only NBC and MSNBC news programming is available, while other content including sports and entertainment is scheduled for availability this winter. Microsoft is not charging customers for its broadband video services, planning instead to subsidize them with advertising.
Fifteen-second advertisements will fund Microsoft’s effort to further branch out into broadband with MSN Video.
Microsoft joins rivals AOL, Yahoo and RealNetworks in offering exclusive on-demand content to its subscribers. AOL aggressively markets AOL for Broadband, promoting exclusive video that can be seen nowhere else through its Time Warner entertainment channels.
RealNetworks sells subscription fees for access to its RealOne offering, while Yahoo mirrors RealNetworks’ subscription strategy with its own Platinum service. Both subscriptions run $9.95 per month. RealNetworks is a content partner of CNN.com. Despite direct competition between the two companies, RealNetworks' software is also currently bundled with the AOL client.
For more information visit www.microsoft.com.