Hollywood’s Ryan Seacrest hosted the show where Microsoft unveiled its new search service called “Bing Entertainment” at a private West Hollywood Club. The search engine is fighting a tough battle to gain search engine market share from the Google. Bing entertainment includes TV, movies, games, and music, and is designed to allow users to watch video, play an online game, buy movie or concert tickets, listen to a song or find lyrics without even leaving the website. Search run on through Bing Entertainment doesn’t only give the results but offers the content itself. It all happened because of Microsoft’s partnership with various media companies from music labels to Hulu and CBS.
As per certain analysis there are 1.5 billion searches every month for entertainment topics. Bing is targeting to deliver all entertainment information and resources at one point and on one page. They are targeting to keep the user stay at their site for longest time possible which in turn will result in larger revenue generation from search queries, its own ads and by revenue sharing with likes of Hulu. Bing is giving one-time access to five million full songs, and a 30 second clips after that. The service directs the users to buy songs from service of their choice – iTunes, Amazon, or Zune. 70% of people who search music actually search for lyrics and Bing is providing lyrics for 5 million songs and that too for free.
The Hulu player is now embedded in Bing site and this allows the search engine to offer 20,000 full—length episodes of programs from Hulu. Bing is sharing the ad revenue with Hulu for this collaboration.
I another major deal with Facebook, Microsoft is allowing Facebook users to login through Bing and play the online games hosted on Facebook without even leaving Bing. You would soon be able to play Facebook’s Farmville on Bing using your Facebook account.
Will this cause folks to abandon Google in droves? Not likely, says tech industry strategist Greg Sterling, of Sterling Market Intelligence. “It’s significant, but it’s not going to alter the search landscape in the near term,” says Sterling. “Over time we will potentially see an impact, in the context of the many things Bing is doing to improve user experience.” Kevin Lee, CEO of search consultancy Didit.com, recalls that former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel torched his career years back by failing spectacularly at a similar push to turn Yahoo into a media and entertainment giant. Entertainment has never proven to be a huge driver of search advertising revenue, says Lee. But entertainment “is a highly emotional category which will cause consumers to tune into things that Bing is doing,” he says.
Microsoft may be intending to use Bing’s new Entertainment tool “as a loss-leader to get people to use Bing,” says Lee. “It might just drive millions of consumers to try Bing enough times that they will stick with it,” says Lee. “However, Microsoft should learn from Yahoo’s past mistakes with custom content.