Microsoft plans to give online video a try by launching MSN Video. The firm has already struck a deal with the corporate arm of BBC to stream some of its TV shows. Another deal was signed with All3Media which has top rating shows in Channel 4.
The service will be ad-funded, both pre-roll and regular advert breaks based on the length of the video. Broadband users across the UK can get the service for free. Initially, the MSN Video Player will stream using the Flash protocol. On its official release, the player will use Microsoft’s Silverlight technology.
With the planned format, iPhone and iTouch users won’t be able to use the player. A YouTube-like app seems highly unlikely, considering the rivalry between Apple and Microsoft.
Microsoft’s jump into the TV streaming bandwagon came following reports of Hulu invading the UK. Hulu has done an amazing job in the US, being the most popular TV streaming service in the country. It has received too much attention for having a quality web design. Its diversified content has drawn many viewers.
MSN video player has a promising future, but it has to at least equal Hulu’s quality content to prove its worth in the online streaming market.