Microsoft has officially launched its new UK video service – with the same content as everyone else. The selection of content highlighted on the MSN Video Player could have come straight from the rival service SeeSaw, which went live earlier this month.
In addition to BBC Worldwide, MSN also has deals with the same independent producers that have enabled ITV shows including Doc Martin and Bad Girls to be streamed, despite the commercial broadcaster’s reluctance to deal directly. Highlighted BBC shows include Hustle, Mock the Week, and some vintage Doctor Who. In total around 1,000 hours of clips and full-length programmes are available.
The site, which has been in beta for the past seven months, runs using Microsoft’s proprietary video software Silverlight and is funded by pre-roll advertising. Unlike SeeSaw and the broadcaster sites including the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD there are no catch-up elements.
It is likely that the content will also be added to the Microsoft Xbox gaming device that already plays home to BSkyB’s Sky Player.