The Entertainment Side of Bing

June 24, 2010

With content on the web exponentially exploding, it is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate and find what you are really looking for. Microsoft has found that as far as  entertainment goes, about 76 percent of surfers use search engines to help find and navigate their entertainment options online, although only 10 percent say they have a trusted website or portal to land.

The Bing team has seen the huge opportunity right there and working with key groups inside Microsoft that possess an extensive entertainment background, have started making significant investments in four key areas: Music, Gaming, Movies and TV.

Microsoft research has also found that more than 70 percent of people look for song lyrics online, and Bing has added plenty of lyrics for searchers. Zune is also offering a single free play of all five million songs in its catalog, and then the songs can be repeated in 30-second previews.

Soon, Microsoft will offer the ability to purchase or download songs from Zune, iTunes and MP3. This model could encourage consumers to turn to Bing first to find new music. Whether it brings any incremental revenue to the Zune store remains to be seen.

On the gaming front, Microsoft is offering detailed information on more than 35,000 games, including in-depth reviews, cheats and walk-throughs. Searchers can find and play (for free) about 100 popular games from within Bing. That keeps computers safe from malware, Microsoft said. It also keeps gamers in the Bing universe, which could ultimately be good for Xbox Live, since there are likely to be promotions there.

Microsoft research also found that 30 percent of people watch all their TV episodes online, and more than 60 percent of people have used a search engine to look for full-length TV shows online. Bing Entertainment now offers thousands of episodes from more than 1,500 shows.

Finally, Microsoft reported that 90 percent of people go to search engines to find movie information. Bing Entertainment works to offer movie reviews, real-time Twitter and Facebook feedback, traffic info and directions, and restaurants and parking information from Bing Maps.

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