Microsoft held their second annual digital showcase last week in New York. On display were several forward-looking concept pieces including online video.
"We've made an investment in premium content centered around video," said Senior Director of eastern U.S. sales at Microsoft Advertising Rick Song, when he opened the showcase. He went on to say that through numerous partnerships, alliances and Microsoft has been integral in the launch of over fifty Web series. They also have new series in production at present including Foley Guys, a comedy to star Rainn Wilson (The Office). Another project is called Cinemash where well-known comics would re-enact scenes from favorite films and diverse roles making for some potentially funny shows.
They did not say exactly where these new shows would end up but looking into their portfolio one needn't jump to a far conclusion what with the existence of Xbox LIVE, the Zune network and MSN as well as external options. Could we see Microsoft produced shows on iTunes? (if it happens, I said it first!) Wouldn't that be a kick in the teeth?
Microsoft also pushed their own Wonderwall service with shows being made specifically to bolster its content including Last Night on TV which is said to have comedians hosting and discussing the highlights from the previous night's television shows. Wow, that really sounds interesting... (that was sarcasm, sorry).
Other products include further cooperation on MSNBC featuring the Today Show property in a series of break out shows from popular sessions of the regular show.
What's this mean for you?
As always I like to talk about how this news will pertain to you. In essence, this means there is going to be a lot of high volume video that is going to require advertising. After all this was a sales pitch. It was Microsoft Advertising saying 'look how forward thinking we are, we believe online video will become huge and you should drop ad dollars in our laps.' Maybe they're finally feeling the sting of losing all those ad dollars to all the other services and ad networks that have fully embraced the move to online video and television and wanted to attract your attention to the fact that they're ready for you, who knows. I'm not saying Microsoft Advertising is bad or isn't video-friendly. But when they have a two-hour event specifically to show off how cool their online video options are, one has to think they have something up their sleeves.