Ben Fritz at Variety has the buzz on Microsoft’s outreach memo:
Looking to strengthen ties with Hollywood as it delves deeper into online video, Microsoft on Tuesday sent a memo to top execs at all the major media congloms offering to work closely with them to combat piracy, but not to implement the kind of filtering technology Viacom is demanding on YouTube.
Confidential memo obtained by Daily Variety was sent by Microsoft to media toppers such as Peter Chernin, Jeff Zucker and Bob Iger as well as heads of the major labels. It outlines the tech giant’s approach to Soapbox, its newly launched viral video service on MSN that is going up against YouTube, MySpace Video and others.
In the letter, media and entertainment VP Blair Westlake said Microsoft is developing “what we believe content owners want and need: industry-leading notice and takedown … practices, including tools that enable our content partners to more easily find content that is rightfully theirs and give us prompt notice so we can respond even more efficiently and expeditiously.”
That’s probably (non-copyrighted) music to their ears except that
Soapbox, which is still in a public beta trial run and has a miniscule amount of content and visitors compared with YouTube, already has numerous copyrighted clips from “South Park,” “High School Musical,” “American Idol” and other TV shows, films and musicvideos.
Still, it behooves Microsoft to stay on the good side of the media bigs since their aspirations for future bounty seem to lie in that direction.
Speaking of which, the latest numbers from Compete show MSN is in 5th place with only with 4% marketshare. YouTube plus Google adds up to 54% and only MySpace with 16% looks like a contender.