In what could be the stiffest competition yet for the iTunes Music Store, MTV Networks and Microsoft announced today that they have joined forces to develop a new digital music service called URGE. Set to launch next year, the service will be integrated into a forthcoming version of Microsoft Windows Media Player. Music pricing was not announced.
“The collaboration unites MTV Networks’ music DNA, marketing strengths and powerful MTV, VH1 and CMT brands with the technology leadership and consumer reach of Microsoft,” the companies said. “URGE will offer rich entertainment programming and innovative tools designed to guide musical discovery and connect fans to the artists and music they love. Offering more than 2 million songs from the major labels and thousands of independents, URGE will encompass all musical genres, from alt-country to zydeco. In addition to a broad catalogue of music choices, URGE will deliver a deep well of exclusive MTV Networks programming and original, hand-crafted content.”