The MTV and Microsoft alliance using Windows Media Player 11 as a platform proved less than a success story. As a matter of fact, it fell flat despite the expectations that it generated upon the initiation of the project. URGE was the child of the Microsoft and MTV marriage, but the Redmond company rushed to abandon it as it focused entirely on the Zune digital media player and the adjacent Zune Marketplace. While "the seamless integration of Microsoft Windows Media Player 11 and MTV Networks’ URGE, [was] designed to bring the emotional connection of music to the forefront of the digital entertainment experience," it brought nothing instead.
Windows Media Player 11's URGE went unused instead of redefining the way Windows users traditionally discover and enjoy music. And instead of bridging Windows XP and Windows Vista with the content on the MTV Networks, URGE proved to be nothing more than a failure. In this context, MTV is considering killing the service altogether and abandoning its partnership with Microsoft. Viacom's MTV is currently in the process of discontinuing the URGE integration into Windows Media Player 11, and is no longer providing resources to the service.
MTV is reported to enter a collaboration with RealNetworks, according to Wall Street Journal. With such a move, MTV would not only rival Apple but also Microsoft's Zune Marketplace. However, the Redmond company will end up stripped of one of the most recognizable brands in the music industry. And although the partnership with MTV failed to get off the ground in the online space, Microsoft at least had a reserve with a healthy amount of potential, but just lacking a coherent web strategy and direction.
Additionally, Microsoft now has to go alone against Apple in the online music market. And the Redmond company is nothing short of handicapped in this respect. As of mid 2007, Microsoft managed to sell over 1 million Zune devices, and the Zune marketplace featured a total of 2.6 million songs. By comparison, the iTunes is offering in excess of six million items, and passed the three billion sold songs at the end of July.
Microsoft, MTV, Music, Video, Online Music, Online Video, Windows Media Player, Windows Vista, Windows XP, URGE, Apple, RealNetworks, Zune