Several sources have indicated to us that MSN plans to relaunch itself as the MSN Media Network, whilst at the same time expanding its range of interactive and content rich services. As well as continuing to deliver content through MSN.com and MSN Music, the MSN Video team is evolving to include Movies and TV. Both these sites have already been revamped at the end of last year and feature show times and reviews as well as the latest entertainment news.
We have also learnt there are plans to launch a new podcasting service later this year, featuring MSN produced content such as celebrity interviews. However it remains unclear at this time whether all podcasters will be free to list on the new site, or whether it will only feature MSN approved content.
This move comes barely a month after Microsoft confirmed it was pulling out of its joint media venture with NBC, showing that Microsoft clearly believe the future of content is via the internet as opposed to traditional media. By using advertising on its upcoming Windows Live products as well as using the new Video Carousel feature in Messenger, MSN can be sure to drive traffic to its media sites. Whether it retains them we shall have to see.