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Author Topic: Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion  (Read 2015 times)
Bond007
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Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion
« on: June 02, 2007, 03:31:07 PM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSN0135003720070602

This new music promotion started by Microsoft is great news for Zune pass owners, Zune marketplace, Zune fans, and music lovers in general because it exposes new artist and their music to Zune costumers via Zune Marketplace and Xbox Live.

Zune was managed to get Paul Macartney's exclusive content to Zune marketplace before Apple could with Itunes and now Microsoft is making the Zune marketplace now filled with music and content by new artist you won't find on Itunes or anywhere else.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 04:06:08 PM by Bond007 » Logged

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Re: Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 05:02:51 PM »

Blogged it.  Thanks Bond!

This sounds very smart, and what a showcase for a band to be featured simultaneously on Zune, Xbox Live, and MSN.
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Re: Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2007, 03:51:31 PM »

So basically McSofty is providing month long trials, in multiple different avenues to expose new artists? 

Interesting.

Quote
Called Ignition, the program is designed to expose new artists and their music to consumers for an entire month by featuring exclusive content through Microsoft's multiple services -- including MSN, Xbox Live and Zune.

I've always wanted a trail program on one of the large music online retailers.  Let me listen to an album just once before I have to buy it. I would buy more if I knew what I was buying. This is a good idea folks.  Hopefully more and more artists join in and start providing unique content like this tidbit from the article:

Quote
And Microsoft is working with the band to produce custom content -- such as artist-created playlists and "behind-the-album" commentary featuring track-by-track insights and observations by band members -- all available via the Zune service.

It's like DVD special features. Cool stuff.  I would buy a bunch of little band commentaries concerning some of my favorite music. I'd love to hear how it came about.
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Re: Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2007, 03:31:55 AM »

Seems nice, but I'm not sure this is too big of a deal. I don't know, maybe I'm missing something: Microsoft gets to use a bit of an unknown artist's works for a month exclusively through XBox and Zune, right? Aside from getting some publicity out for the artist, I just can't see this being that important to many people. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it, but when things like this and the laughable 1.4 update are shown to be what Microsoft wants for its Zune, well... I can't help but be disappointed, feeling like the Zune is nothing more than a tool to get more attention for its other products.

I get the feeling that, as a casual music consumer, I'm getting somewhat forgotten in this continued torrent of obscure music artist publicity. I really, honestly don't care what the Zune team says is good music, nor do I want it shoved in my face. What I'd *much* rather see would be Microsoft putting its efforts toward making the player and its software revolutionary, with features and capabilities that really set it apart. Continue to improve your product; convince the average user that the Zune is such an awesome device that it's worth the switch.  Apple is a prime example: give the consumer a great basis with iTunes and iPod, make it a cohesive and structured environment, and offer them all range of music with no particular focus, allowing the consumer to take the iPod and put it toward whatever use the consumer needs. Microsoft, put the money into better designs and program updates, and for goodness sakes, don't think for a minute that the consumer cares what you think is good music! If we want recommendations through the Zune store, fine, let us know what you think there. But to put such extremely valuable and expensive resources into projects like this when there is so much else that could be done is not only a waste, but downright insulting.

Things like this "Ignition" shouldn't be a focus, they should be an afterthought. Something quaint and available, should the consumer expressly ask for it, built into the Zune store or as a freebie through XBox Live. Instead, Microsoft has gone and given it a full-on title and large-scale press release, blowing something that few people will even know exists grossly out of proportion.

Microsoft, the Zune player and software are fantastic starts. But you really need to stop fooling around with trivial pursuits and start focusing on getting some serious work done in setting your player apart from the rest. If you're thinking for one instant that things like "Ignition" are what will differentiate the Zune from the iPod, much less in a positive manner, I have to suggest that you do some serious rethinking on the Zune strategy as a whole. I really worry that the Zune team is much too afraid of being viewed as a faceless aspect of Microsoft, and is going way too overboard in attempting to appeal to the hardcore music and art enthusiasts, and things like Ignition, the Zune Arts program, and the initial wave of obscure and largely pointless commercials are all prime examples.

I just sold my Zune to my brother. Yes, it's true. I'm a believer in much of what Microsoft does, buying an original XBox on launch day, owning a Live-equipped XBox 360, Vista-running PC, and recommending each to anyone who asks. However, after having watched Microsoft's progression with the Zune, scanning blogs and news sites, delving into the workings of the Zune software, and seeing the incredible potential of this fantastic device continue to go to waste while effort and resources are spent on trivial projects such as this has caused me to believe that this division is doing little more than shooting in the dark.

I'm going to continue watching, but for now it'll be from the outside looking in. Good luck to you, Microsoft; I look forward to the day that you realize the Zune's potential.
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Bond007
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Re: Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 10:21:53 AM »

Transtan I think you maybe right.  Microsoft is worry about many things that seem rather unnecessary instead of improving their products.  They are finding ways to deviate attention from products like Zune, Xbox 360, and Windows Vista.  For example here is a link below.

http://computerworld.com.sg/ShowPage.aspxpagetype=2&articleid=5345&pubid=3&tab=Home&issueid=113
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Re: Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2007, 11:52:08 PM »

Quote from: Trastan on June 07, 2007, 03:31:55 AM
Seems nice, but I'm not sure this is too big of a deal. I don't know, maybe I'm missing something: Microsoft gets to use a bit of an unknown artist's works for a month exclusively through XBox and Zune, right? Aside from getting some publicity out for the artist, I just can't see this being that important to many people. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it, but when things like this and the laughable 1.4 update are shown to be what Microsoft wants for its Zune, well... I can't help but be disappointed, feeling like the Zune is nothing more than a tool to get more attention for its other products.

I get the feeling that, as a casual music consumer, I'm getting somewhat forgotten in this continued torrent of obscure music artist publicity. I really, honestly don't care what the Zune team says is good music, nor do I want it shoved in my face. What I'd *much* rather see would be Microsoft putting its efforts toward making the player and its software revolutionary, with features and capabilities that really set it apart. Continue to improve your product; convince the average user that the Zune is such an awesome device that it's worth the switch.  Apple is a prime example: give the consumer a great basis with iTunes and iPod, make it a cohesive and structured environment, and offer them all range of music with no particular focus, allowing the consumer to take the iPod and put it toward whatever use the consumer needs. Microsoft, put the money into better designs and program updates, and for goodness sakes, don't think for a minute that the consumer cares what you think is good music! If we want recommendations through the Zune store, fine, let us know what you think there. But to put such extremely valuable and expensive resources into projects like this when there is so much else that could be done is not only a waste, but downright insulting.

Things like this "Ignition" shouldn't be a focus, they should be an afterthought. Something quaint and available, should the consumer expressly ask for it, built into the Zune store or as a freebie through XBox Live. Instead, Microsoft has gone and given it a full-on title and large-scale press release, blowing something that few people will even know exists grossly out of proportion.

Microsoft, the Zune player and software are fantastic starts. But you really need to stop fooling around with trivial pursuits and start focusing on getting some serious work done in setting your player apart from the rest. If you're thinking for one instant that things like "Ignition" are what will differentiate the Zune from the iPod, much less in a positive manner, I have to suggest that you do some serious rethinking on the Zune strategy as a whole. I really worry that the Zune team is much too afraid of being viewed as a faceless aspect of Microsoft, and is going way too overboard in attempting to appeal to the hardcore music and art enthusiasts, and things like Ignition, the Zune Arts program, and the initial wave of obscure and largely pointless commercials are all prime examples.

I just sold my Zune to my brother. Yes, it's true. I'm a believer in much of what Microsoft does, buying an original XBox on launch day, owning a Live-equipped XBox 360, Vista-running PC, and recommending each to anyone who asks. However, after having watched Microsoft's progression with the Zune, scanning blogs and news sites, delving into the workings of the Zune software, and seeing the incredible potential of this fantastic device continue to go to waste while effort and resources are spent on trivial projects such as this has caused me to believe that this division is doing little more than shooting in the dark.

I'm going to continue watching, but for now it'll be from the outside looking in. Good luck to you, Microsoft; I look forward to the day that you realize the Zune's potential.

Excellent and well-written post, Trastan.  This is precisely why I'm thinking of going with a Sansa e280.  I WANT to love the Zune - I really do.... But it seems as though the user doesn't matter to MS.   Undecided

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Re: Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2007, 07:49:34 AM »

I think you may be over-reacting to these smaller announcements - - in thinking that these are taking Microsoft's time away from other Zune projects. These smaller announcements don't mean that there aren't bigger announcements coming up for projects being worked on as we speak.

Next week will be 6 months since Zune's launch on Nov 14. All signs are that Microsoft is development new player models and new features for the current players. The fact that Microsoft won't release specifics yet shouldn't fool anyone into thinking they're not being aggressive about working on those things.

And anyone who follows ZuneInsider knows that there's at least one Zune team member who follows this site and reads our member comments pretty closely...

My advice though when I get emails from people considering buying a Zune: if you're going to get one, buy it for what it does right now. Don't buy it based on a belief or hope that there'll be new features added every six weeks to it. Get it for what it does right now, and then enjoy the new features as they get released.
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Trastan
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Re: Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2007, 08:44:11 AM »

As I've said in other threads, I purchased my Zune both knowing that it's an excellent player and that Microsoft has had a recently strong history of supporting and enhancing their products. I still believe the Zune to be the best hard-drive-based media player currently on the market, and that's no small feat given its competition.

The problem I have is that I see too many indications that this isn't being treated with as much care as, say, the XBox franchise is. Why was the Zune rushed to market? Why is the team on this project so small? Why are such resources being given to the Zune Arts and Ignition programs, and so little to software and firmware updates? Why does the inter-Zune sharing have issues transferring certain songs? Why is that the only use for its Wi-Fi ability? Where are the clock, contacts, or text-reading abilities? Why can't you record with the radio? Some of these are minor issues (many may not even care about them), but the point is that Microsoft is trying to compete in a feature-heavy, highly-competitive market with a great piece of hardware backed up with bare bones capabilities.

I realize that I'm asking a lot, but Microsoft has shown that it knows how to handle new products, and I'm excited to see what they can do with such a high-potential product. When they instead give us a minor interface bug fix that constitutes an entire .1 in their firmware update history with absolutely no other features or fixes, I can't help but be disheartened. It's not like Microsoft is new to the market: they helped iRiver launch what could be seen as the best flash-based player around, the Clix. This thing can listen to radio and record it in any bitrate you wish, features text document reading, Flash support for open-source games, a custom equalizer along with SRS WOW effects, an alarm clock, support for non-US characters, the ability to delete songs from the device... Why are these things not the BASIS for the Zune? Microsoft should be STARTING with everything that the Clix did, and adding more on top. Instead they claimed that music would be the only focus, limiting the versatility of their product. How much better would the Zune have been had it come with all of these features, wireless syncing, and an ad campaign that made clear sense to the average viewer?

I'm not giving up on the Zune. I just want to know that Microsoft is doing a whole lot more behind the scenes than fixing a shuffle problem and working with obscure artists for exclusives. They have killer hardware; all that they need to do now is catch up with everyone else in the feature department.
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Re: Microsoft starts Ignition for music promotion
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2007, 08:48:31 AM »

I was disapointed that the song (well free status) on the Zune Marketplace was not available at the same time as the video on the Video Marketplace. 
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