MS set to kill off YouTube competitor, Soapbox, on August 31

Microsoft has confirmed today that it plans to close its' video service, MSN Soapbox on August 31.

Only last month, the company announced they were planning to scale back Soapbox and transform it from an also-ran in the user-generated content space into a forum where bloggers and citizen journalists can post videos.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Neowin that "on August 31, 2009, MSN will no longer offer MSN Soapbox. Beginning on July 29, customers will no longer be able to upload videos to Soapbox and we encourage any Soapbox user that wants to keep their videos to download them off of Soapbox prior to August 31. We will be communicating to our valued Soapbox community using several different methods to ensure that people are able to keep any video that is important to them."

According to the company MSN Video has 88M unique users around the world, who watch 480M video streams each month. Online video will remain a key part of the MSN offering. With rumours of Microsoft launching a streaming music service this month, the company could be scaling back services that aren't as popular as their rivals to make way for future services. Soapbox was intended as a competitor to YouTube but never reached the popularity level that its rival achieved.

Soapbox originally launched as a beta service in late September 2006. Microsoft officially launched a public beta in late February 2007. Soapbox was given the MSN branding during a time the company seemed confused whether to name its web services "Live" or MSN.

Soapbox joins Popfly and Microsoft Money in Microsoft's recent cut backs.

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is that me or MS have killed so many products (Encarta , MS money , onecare and popfly ) this year and now this


:S

skynetXrules said,
is that me or MS have killed so many products (Encarta , MS money , onecare and popfly ) this year and now this


:S

No, it's part of their new plan. They're cutting off a bunch of their services to become a more streamlined and lightweight company. Lets face it, OneCare is the only product that a decent amount of people cared about today, and even then a large portion wasn't interested.

It's about time Microsoft do some cleaning. It's sad how a recession was the only thing to show them the way instead of common sense. Microsoft are starting to do the right things. Looking forward to a new direction and new services.

boogerjones said,
YouTube competitor? Huh?

Well it's a competitor in the sense that it's also a video sharing website, similar to Youtube. However, to say it's a worthy competitor is something different again :P

If it has even a tiny share in prompting YouTube to better its services, then I'd say Soapbox (which, like most people here, has been a long forgotten name for me) was a viable 'competitor'...

when your service is paid by itself (publicity) you can't really compete with totallyf ree of ad alternative like youtube ...

Do you mean that YouTube is not advertised for, or that there are no advertisements on Youtube? (I'm guessing the former, which is indirectly correct but the latter is definitively untrue)

Omkar� said,
Do you mean that YouTube is not advertised for, or that there are no advertisements on Youtube? (I'm guessing the former, which is indirectly correct but the latter is definitively untrue)

Just the fact that you don't have ads before/after playing a video on youtube. On soapbox after each video an ad begins and sometimes between videos too. Microsoft was, from what I understand, provide a service that is paid by itself instead of pouring hundreds of millions into the service each year like google has been doing ever since they bought it.

Ballmer gets his company to do everything there exists in the software and IT (IT Services) industry. From Email to SaaS, everything.

Someone should remind him of the definition of flagship, and the concept of sticking to it. :P

Orange said,
Never heard of this before, Google owns Youtube so Google +1, Google is taking over the web!!


Heck, it never got linked in the channel bar on the msn home page. What did MS expect?!

If you guys think that Google would not like to kill Youtube, you are kidding yourselves. Who do you think has to pay for storage of all this as well as bandwidth? Youtube is a money pit for Google...

I don't really like YouTube to begin with (if it wasn't for the amount of content) and I was hoping when Soapbox launched, it would be a great competitor.

Shows what happens when Microsoft doesn't fully commit to a new service. Microsoft is perfectly capable of making a wonderful competitor worth switching to, but they chose not to.

Quikboy said,
I don't really like YouTube to begin with (if it wasn't for the amount of content) and I was hoping when Soapbox launched, it would be a great competitor.

Too many ads compared to youtube, but I agree it SHOULD have been a great competitor especially with feature like AJAX, you never need to reload the whole page to view your video. This point is great but I think the majority of web user are not ready to understand that sometimes the url doesn't change and you can't just copy/paste that on msn to your friends, you have the dedicated link below the video... it's just a thought but all these factors have, in my view, contributed to soapbox downfall.

A number of shutdowns lately. :S

But then again, MS has had this odd habit of trying to conquer as many markets as possible lately. I'm not really too surprised with this turn of events.

I'd say it's about time Microsoft killed MSN entirely... The only good concept was the single sign-on live id, and I'm sure there are plenty of people using Messenger, but I have about zero MSN contacts...

Breach said,
I'd say it's about time Microsoft killed MSN entirely... The only good concept was the single sign-on live id, and I'm sure there are plenty of people using Messenger, but I have about zero MSN contacts...



I concur. Each new MSN wave gets tackier and more junky looking. They should just make MSN.com a hub to connect to its big name services Xbox, MSNBC News, Hotmail, Office Live, and Messenger.

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