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by Mike Zazaian September 27, 2006 - 9:55am, No Comments

Control Room's Live 8 event in 2005

Following up on the release of their Soapbox video service, Microsoft plans to stream live concerts on MSN.

Microsoft is partnering up with Control Room, the company behind the Live 8 concert broadcast that drew over 100 million online viewers in 2005. The effort will bring 36 concerts live to MSN, free for users to stream due to revenue brought in by advertisements that will be featured in the broadcasts.

The first concert in the series will feature R&B musician John Legend on October 2nd, streamed live from the concert venue in London. Microsoft will also leave the concert streams up on the web so that users may come back to view them after the initial live airing. There’s no word yet though as to how long video of the concerts will be available after the initial boradcast.

Announcement of Microsoft’s partnership with Control Room comes just days after Microsoft’s launch of their new online video-sharing site, Soapbox, which is designed to compete head-on with YouTube. The online concert streams will not be featured on Soapbox, however, but rather a separate featured section of MSN designed to showcase the live concert series.

Microsoft has put a lot of focus lately toward increasing its web presence, including a recent change of the long-outdated MSN search engine to Live.com, and the launch of Wallop, a social netorking site designed in the same vein as Facebook and MySpace.

[via cnet]