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Microsoft to share free music on Xbox Live

Get free music on your Xbox and Zune

Microsoft is offering a new method of discovering musical acts via its Zune media player - not available in Europe until next year - and through Xbox Live. Microsoft has unveiled Ignition, a program that gives much-needed exposure to up-and-coming artists.

Although the majority of Ignition's content will be featured predominantly on Microsoft's Zune service, video downloads will also be available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

For instance, UK band Maximo Park's video of their song Our Velocity has been made into a free download for connected Xbox owners all throughout the month of June. More new artists will be announced in the coming months.

More: Xbox Live Marketplace gets exclusive video

"The Ignition program is designed to help artists connect with a substantial consumer audience," said Christina Calio, director of Music Marketing for Zune.

"Consumers are looking for ways to find new music, and Ignition helps connect artists with potential new fans by giving them multiple opportunities to listen to, watch or read about the artist across Microsoft's online platforms."

This program will focus on the release of new, downloadable music and music-related content created by cutting edge artists on the verge of worldwide success. The first group to debut on the Ignition program's initial month of service is Maxïmo Park, who have attained recent notoriety through their latest album, Our Earthly Pleasures.

REVIEWS: Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite and Microsoft Zune.

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