MSN Europe today announced partnerships with two of the best-known names in entertainment: MTV and Sony BMG. Consumers will be able to stream and share video clips, for free and on-demand, from MTV Network's library of TV programmes.
At present, consumers reportedly prefer to enjoy "short-form" content such as music videos and YouTube-style clips, rather than full-length TV programming online. Bresseel reported strong growth in "snack-bite video formats [along with] professionally-generated video content".
The usage model may well change in the next couple of years, however, in which case MTV and MSN seem geared up to deliver longer programming and lengthier clips, albeit perhaps with a different means of supporting it commercially.
This seems to suggest that Apple's revamped AppleTV (reviewed here), which rumours suggest is set to go onsale in the US from today and which will sell content via iTunes, is some way off having a direct download rival from a web portal.
Instead, Microsoft pointed journalists to its existing download and video rental services delivered via Windows Marketplace to the Xbox 360 games console.
MSN Video is currently viewed by six million unique users in Europe in month. Today's content deal initially covers the UK, France and Germany, with the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Russia and Poland to follow.