MSN calling Hollywood

The world’s largest software company has recently signed a partnership with Reveille, an independent production company, to develop original content for its struggling MSN service. The multi-project deal calls for Reveille to develop entertainment programming that will first appear on the site The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Microsoft is hoping to tap into the growing demand for Web advertising and the surging popularity of online video-programming thanks to the growth of high-speed Internet service. This content tends to attract younger audiences difficult to reach through television and other forms of traditional media. “Original content, particularly in video, keeps users online longer than they would stay otherwise. Companies figure that the chances of someone noticing their ads increase the longer someone stays on a Web site.” Michael Hayes, MD of Initiative Interactive, an Interpublic Group unit.

A comedy starring actor and comedian Tom Arnold that is about a ‘lovably flawed pilot for a commuter airline’ and another show Under the Influence that has musicians meet the people who most inspired them are under consideration.

Reveille, whose shows include NBC’s The Biggest Loser and MTV’s Date My Mom, will create programs that may be seen in other formats such as mobile devices and in an ironic twist – television sets, Microsoft says.

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