Microsoft launches music initiative 'Ignition'

MUMBAI: Microsoft has launched Ignition, a new initiative to promote music across its international services by signing up UK band Maximo Park under its programme.

Ignition is a marketing programme aimed at offering musicians exposure through services such as MSN, Zune and Xbox Live. Each band or musician within the Ignition programme will receive one month of publicity and promotion for an undisclosed amount.

Zune director of music marketing Christina Calio said, "Consumers are looking for ways to find new music, and Ignition helps connect artists with potential new fans by giving them multiple opportunities to listen to, watch or read about the artist across Microsoft‘s online platforms."

However, strict guidelines put in place by Microsoft forces bands to agree to an exclusive contract with Microsoft only, and an agreement to provide on-going participation from the artists.

Maximo Park‘s single from their album Our Earthly Pleasures is available through the Zune Marketplace and Xbox Live Marketplace, coupled with streaming video on MSN.

Amongst other initiatives, Microsoft has the Zune music programme On the Road, which aims to provide financial and tactical support for touring artists.

The company claims the Xbox, MSN and Zune web sites total around 30 million regular users, making Microsoft‘s latest initiative the broadest programme for musicians to become involved in.

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