MTV to partner with Microsoft on URGE

By Derek Sooman on December 14, 2005, 1:32 PM
MTV Networks Inc. has disclosed plans to sell music online, but has chosen Microsoft, and not Apple, to be its partner. In its recently announced URGE service, MTV will operate with the help of the world's biggest software maker. More than 70% of online music is sold by Apple Computer through its iTunes Music Store, and MTV comes a little late into this market. Nevertheless, MTV believes that Microsoft is the right partner to get things up to speed for them.

But MTV is betting that its global reach through more than 100 channels will vault URGE over competitors. MTV plans to offer music videos, television shows and 2 million song tracks through individual sales or a monthly subscription service. Specifics such as pricing and which songs and videos would be offered weren't disclosed.

MTV Networks Music Group President Van Toffler said the company, a unit of Viacom International Inc., allied itself with Microsoft because it wanted to exploit the flexibility and ubiquity of Microsoft's Media Player software, which comes preinstalled in the Windows operating system.

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