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Microsoft's Big Play; The Big Push For Mobile Video

Play time for Microsoft

Microsoft Zune
AP
Microsoft Zune

Microsoft is busy pushing its entertainment offerings. The tech company's new secret weapon in selling digital downloads to play on a cell phone or other devices is a new digital rights management technology called PlayReady. The upside for consumers: content purchased for one mobile device isn't limited to just that gadget. Users can register several devices to share content. This is a rather controversial approach, but could really catch on eventually. This just one of the bits of news to come out of the 3GSM mobile technology conference in Barcelona.

Mobile Video
Speaking of the news coming out of Barcelona. Yesterday I reported on Qualcomm making a deal with AT&T , which will use the tech company's MediaFlo network to distribute video to cell phones. Qualcomm's Media Flo was already partnered with Verizon , supporting its V Cast service. And today Fox Interactive Media is jumping into the game. It's IGN Entertainment is providing videogame, and entertainment and lifestyle content to the company. NewsCorp's been smart about cross marketing through MySpace. Now it's going to get in your face -- literally -- by putting content on your cell phone. This rush to dump video on your cell phone supports my theory that MediaFlo's deal with AT&T yesterday is its tipping point, and mobile video is about to make it to the mainstream.

Does protest earn eyeballs?
The Superbowl was host to two controversial ads from Snickers and General Motors . Both incited outrage by special interest groups and both companies ultimately relented, pulling the ads. The companies may say they never intended to offend, but Ad Age is supposing that inciting the controversy is a key way to get noticed, and likely a purposeful one. Are these potentially controversial ads a misjudgement of the public's reaction? Or an intentional play for ink?

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Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.