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December 13, 2005

MTV Networks Announces a New Digital Music Service in Collaboration With Microsoft

Posted by David Hunter at 10:46 AM ET.

Press release:

Dec. 13, 2005 — MTV Networks, a division of Viacom, Inc., and Microsoft Corp. today announced that they have collaborated on the design and development of MTV Networks’ forthcoming digital music service called URGE. Set to debut in 2006, URGE will provide an immersive music experience and will be integrated into a forthcoming version of the Microsoft® Windows Media® Player. The collaboration unites MTV Networks’ music DNA, marketing strengths and powerful MTV, VH1 and CMT brands with the technology leadership and consumer reach of Microsoft.

URGE will offer rich entertainment programming and innovative tools designed to guide musical discovery and connect fans to the artists and music they love. Offering more than 2 million songs from the major labels and thousands of independents, URGE will encompass all musical genres, from alt-country to zydeco. In addition to a broad catalogue of music choices, URGE will deliver a deep well of exclusive MTV Networks programming and original, hand-crafted content.

The rest of the press release is filled with some truly remarkable PR-speak, but details are few and far between. The punchline seems to be:

Upon its debut next year, URGE will be promoted through multiple venues, including the MTV, VH1 and CMT channels, which on average collectively reach more than 165 million U.S. viewers, as well as through the respective brands’ Web sites and Additional details of the new service will be unveiled in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

CES is Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas.

Filed under Alliances, CES06, Conferences, Coopetition, Digital Media, MTV, Media Player, Technologies

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3 Responses to “MTV Networks Announces a New Digital Music Service in Collaboration With Microsoft”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Hold on to your party hats, next week is CES in Las Vegas Says:

    [...] And don’t forget that Microsoft and MTV have promised to deliver the details of their joint URGE music service, not mention the rumors of other media deals that might be announced. [...]

  2. New Windows Media Player due in June -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft seems to be playing the details of the XP version close to the vest, but there is some speculation about features in the full article. We’ve previously mentioned the Urge deal, which despite its unpromising announcement, may well be a winner. Filed under OS – Client, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Coopetition, Technologies, Media Player, MTV, Microsoft Listen to this article   [Permalink] [...]

  3. MTV’s URGE for Microsoft is gone -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] In December 2005 when MTV and Microsoft announced the URGE music service with great fanfare, it was slated to be a major feature of Windows Media Player 11. Before it got launched however, Microsoft introduced the Zune and the Zune Marketplace and somehow the MTV marketing blitz never materialized. Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that MTV is switching horses and merging URGE into a joint venture with RealNetworks (who has its own incompatible Rhapsody service) and with Verizon Wireless handling the mobile distribution. [...]

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