Microsoft's MSN is reportedly in talks with MySpace about bolstering its own music service with music offerings from MySpace.
A report in the WSJ blog Boomtown cites unidentified sources as saying that Microsoft executives don't think they can do as good a job as MySpace and don't see the point in both companies striking complex deals with music labels. The report notes that the talks are still in the early stages.
While MSN and MySpace offer similar music services -- both offer music downloads, playback of tunes, information about concert appearances, and commercial music videos -- MySpace Music tends to be a bit more interactive. It features highly trafficked user forums for categories such as acoustic and metal, plus a karaoke section that lets Web visitors post videos of their own musical performances. MSN Music, meanwhile, adds content such as music blogs and photo galleries.
MSN trails behind MySpace Music in traffic, too. AOL Music, is the leader in this arena with 27.4 million unique monthly visitors, according to an April report by comScore. MySpace Music came in second in the comScore rankings, while MSN Music trailed behind in sixth place.
A deal between MSN and MySpace would have some precedent. MSN's sports site is powered by Fox Sports, which -- like MySpace -- is a News Corp. property. In fact, Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal reported yesterday that MSN, FoxSports, and independent blog aggregator Yardbarker have just inked a deal which deepens an existing content syndication and ad sales pact between the three hubs.
In a blog post published in mid-July, Boomtown reported that MSN is looking to attract more users by concentrating on five areas --entertainment, news, sports, finance, and lifestyle -- while intertwining more data from its Bing search engine.