Redmond (WA) - Microsoft is increasing its presence in the online video market, with an announcement this week that it has signed a deal with a production company for new web-only shows on MSN.
By the end of the year, Microsoft will debut two new shows: Driving School and This is the Life. The two series are connected with Volvo and Chivas Brothers whisky, the pair of sponsors that will pay for related advertising on MSN.
The shows will be produced by Reveille, the same company responsible for Ugly Betty and The Office. It's the latest production venture to be devoted exclusively to the online space. Former Disney executive Michael Eisner has also started an online-only production company named Vuguru, which will host its own videos on Veoh, also owned by Eisner.
MSN's video sharing service is currently ranked near the bottom, at #6, behind YouTube, AOL, MySpace, and even Yahoo.