Microsoft has decided to terminate MSN Soapbox, their troubled entry in the personal video Web site space:
"We have decided to shut down the Soapbox feature," said Microsoft Vice President and MSN leader Erik Jorgensen in an e-mail. "Beginning today, July 21, we will be notifying both our customers and our internal and external partners that on July 29th, people will no longer be able to upload videos to Soapbox and on August 31st, the service will no longer be available."
Microsoft will continue to support MSN Video, which has 88 million unique users each month and delivers 480 million video streams each month, he said. Soapbox was responsible for less than 5 percent of MSN Video’s streams.
The hook for Soapbox was the social networking features, but apparently they were insufficient to lure the folks who love to video their personal whines for the delectation of others away from Google’s YouTube. Of course, it isn’t clear there is really a business in any of these video Web sites since YouTube is still finding it hard to make money with their overwhelming market share and many videos much more amenable to advertising than personal ramblings.