Microsoft fishes for exclusive Hollywood content for Zune debacle

“Microsoft’s Zune is looking to Hollywood to gain an edge on Apple’s iPod,” Andrew Wallenstein reports for The Hollywood Reporter via Reuters.

MacDailyNews Take: The only way Zune is going to gain an edge on iPod would be for Microsoft to add a pocketknife.

Wallenstein continues, “Microsoft executives have been making the rounds at talent agencies and production companies in recent months in hopes of licensing exclusive original video programming for the portable media player, which has struggled to gain traction in the marketplace.”

MacDailyNews Take: That’s not the only place where Microsoft execs have been making the rounds lately.

Wallenstein continues, “While Microsoft has denied persistent rumors that Zune would expand into communications a la Apple’s iPhone, the company confirmed being in an ‘exploratory phase’ regarding supplementing the TV content it already licenses from studios with Zune-only fare.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, Microsoft’s exploring how quickly they can get producers’ to hang up on them.

Wallenstein continues, “But rather than just stock up on traditional formats like sitcoms, Zune is looking for nonconventional programming that can capitalize on the device’s social networking platform, according to Richard Winn, director of entertainment development at Zune. ‘What we would be looking to do with any form of original content is the added component that Zune could provide that iTunes or any competing service couldn’t,’ Winn said.”

“Exclusivity could mean either locking up content that only appears on the Zune platform or syndicating content that appears first on Zune before moving elsewhere with Zune branding,” Wallenstein reports.

Wallenstein reports, “Finding some point of distinction is becoming paramount for Zune as it strives to come anywhere close to the market share that iPod has amassed among portable media players. In May, Microsoft said that just 2 million Zunes had been sold since the product’s launch in November 2006 [an average of 90,000 total units per month], whereas Apple reportedly averages 3.5 million iPod sales per month [which is about 40 times that of Zune].”

Full article here.

Microsoft’s Zune is an abject failure and anyone who treats it otherwise is either a fool or on the take.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MJ” for the heads up.]


  1. And just who would be surprised if the media cartels were to give Zune exclusive content in yet another failed attempt to bring down the iTunes Store/iPod success?

  2. @John,
    “And why is this on a so-called Mac news site?”……… Who was it that said, “Keep your friends close ….. and your enemies closer!”……….

    With so many people out there spouting the glories of Microsoft, as a person who enjoys Macs and recommends them to friends, it never hurts to know what they are doing.

    Just a thought.

    PS, what do I recommend to my enemies??? :Take a wild guess. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. After reading the article, I think it is really sad that these people bought Zunes not because they are better products than the iPod, but because they hate Apple so much. Is that a reason to buy (or not buy) a product? I like Apple’s products because they work as advertised. The minute Apple starts creating products that fail on a regular basis like Microsoft, I will start looking for a product made by a different company.

  4. Zunes are on sale in Canada at Best Buy and Wal-Mart. They are placed right beside the iPods in both stores.

    Equivalent iPods are priced lower than the Zunes!

    Only Apple haters would ever purchase a Zune.

    I wonder if Canadians can buy points and do their Zune Tang® Thang.

  5. Go Microsoft keep aiming to dethrone the iPod!!

    (Shhhhh…. Nobody tell them the target has moved. Maybe they’ll not notice the new iPod is iPod touch / iPhone.)

  6. @John
    “And why is this on a so-called Mac news site?”

    Because no Mac is an island.

    And for the same reason, you probably don’t live in solitary confinement with absolutely no contact with the world.

    Explore Das Glasperlenspiel, synchronicity or the Butterfly Effect.

  7. Don’t underestimate the band sentiments, folks. Whether we like it or not, Apple is THE brand where emotion plays an important part in marketing. Solid majority of Apple’s customers made their buying decision emotionally. Brand loyalty is nowhere as strong as with Apple. We all rationalise our buying decisions by proclaiming that Apple’s products are superior. We defend against those who argue that they are expensive, lack features, have problems/issues, and we defend with passion. We have memorised lists of talking points regarding this.

    What is a bit unusual, but not unexpected, is that a large number of Zune owners made THEIR decision in s similar, emotional way. Not because of features, or usability, but because Zune WASN’T iPod. As Apple dominates the portrable music player market, many people out there who prefer to delcare themselves as different from the pack, wanted to go elsewhere. Couple with that the “smug” attitude of Apple buyers and the motivation is even stronger. This explains the existence of sites such as, and such.

    As a true Apple fan, I say, good luck MS and Zune. Enjoy your little playground.

  8. What major studio in their right mind would give exclusives to a format that no one uses? What exactly would MSFT’s pitch be? Oh, I know, we’ll pay you all the cash you won’t get from the millions of people that don’t have the Zune. Remember the HD-DVD pay offs?

  9. now don’t get me wrong, my wife and i own 5 ipods and one iphone and i think the zune is a far inferior item as much as everybody else and would never consider owning nor recommending one,


    this passage struck a chord of sympathy with me…

    “The most recent figures from NPD Group, the retail-data collector, showed Apple’s device holding 70 percent of the MP3-player market, compared with 3 percent for the Zune. (This put Microsoft in third place, behind SanDisk, at 10 percent.)

    Rather, what this column wonders is: Who is buying Zunes, and why?””

    i seem to recall people asking me the same thing in 1997 (the same friends and family who now own macs, btw) as to why in the world i would use a mac and was so stubborn about it to boot…

    just saying…..

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