Microsoft Introducing Ads To Zune Social

    May 20, 2008

Zune Social, Microsoft’s music-centric social network, is going to gain a dollop of advertising within the next few months.  Then, if all goes well by the corporation’s standards, users of Windows Mobile software, the Xbox 360, Xbox Live, and Microsoft Surface may also see some ads.

Todd Bishop notes that the Zune Social initiative is "one of the first projects to emerge from an advertising business group established inside Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division, working quietly behind the scenes since last fall."

Zune Social
 Zune Social

"It’s one of the ways that Microsoft is trying to expand its footprint beyond standard online display ads and Internet search ads, where the company has struggled to gain ground against Google," he continues.

Microsoft will have to walk a fine line between making money and scaring off fans; it’s not as if the Zune, or Microsoft as a whole, is overly popular to start with.  Sponsored artist and event pages are the way in which the company will try to strike a balance.

The ad tests will begin this summer, according to Bishop.  There’s no word yet on when their success or failure will be judged.