NewFronts: Microsoft Pushes ‘Brand Safe’ Content Into StageDoor Channels

Light slate of announcements includes Xbox partnership with electronic dance music studio OneBeat

Microsoft unwrapped a light slate of new content at its Digital Content NewFronts event, with the few highlights including “StageDoor,” an MSN video content destination that aggregates “brand-safe” video content into nine channels, and pact for electronic-dance music content.

StageDoor (a codename) is designed to be a more TV-like experience than what is found today on online portals, according to Microsoft. For example, the Spark channel is focused on clothes, love, health and other femme-targeted topics. Other MSN StageDoor channels include Downtime, aimed at men 18-49, and Wonder, featuring nature and science content.

“With StageDoor, advertisers can involve their brand directly in the story and connect more deeply with their target consumer,” said Scott Ferris, GM of Microsoft’s TV and video advertising business group.

Chrysler Group’s Jeep brand is among first StageDoor ad clients. “Sponsoring the Tuned In channel is enabling us to broadcast our new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee original video series, ‘Reach the Summit,’ and engage more deeply with our most desired target consumers,” Vicki Carlini, head of Jeep brand media, said in a statement.

Microsoft’s Xbox group, meanwhile, is teaming up with OneBeat, a digital studio focused on video programming about electronic dance music culture, to develop an app for the game console to be released next month.

In addition, Microsoft said it ordered second season of “The LeBrons,” animated series featuring NBA star LeBron James. Skein available on May 10 exclusively on Microsoft platforms, including Xbox Live and MSN Video Hub. It’s co-executive produced by James, Maverick Carter and Believe Entertainment Group. Show received more than 50 million views online in frosh season in 2011.

Company also highlighted partnership with Showtime Networks on cabler’s “Years of Living Dangerously” series focused on climate change. Microsoft Advertising will be the exclusive digital partner for the docu-series, with online sponsorship opportunities starting in 2014, and will deliver complementary content across MSN, Xbox and Windows 8. Broadcast series “Years of Living Dangerously” is being produced by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub, Arnold Schwarzenegger and former “60 Minutes” producers Joel Bach and David Gelber.

Microsoft event, held at nitery Marquee in Chelsea, featured performances by L.A.-based Lucent Dossier, a Cirque du Soleil-style dance group, set to thumping electronica  spun by two deejays.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • United Talent Agency Reveals New Logo

    UTA Unveils New Logo, Corporate Image

    UTA raised the curtain Monday on a new corporate logo. The three-dimensional image is meant to emphasize the talent agency’s focus on uniting ideas, opportunities and talent. Building signage with the new logo will go up next month at UTA’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. “Our new identity captures the multiple facets and intersections of our [...]

  • Altice One set-top

    Amazon Prime Video Coming to Altice's Optimum, Suddenlink Cable Services

    Altice USA plans to launch Amazon Prime Video for Optimum and Suddenlink cable customers nationwide in the next few months, under a pact announced Monday. Altice is the third pay-TV operator in the U.S. with a distribution deal for Amazon Prime Video, after Comcast and Cox Communications. The cable operator is adding Prime Video to [...]

  • youtube leanback screenshot

    YouTube to Shut Down Leanback Web TV Interface on October 2

    YouTube is getting ready to retire its TV-optimized browser interface, also known as YouTube Leanback, on October 2, Variety has learned. The move comes as YouTube is putting a bigger emphasis on its native TV apps, but also represents a blow to users who directly connected their PCs to their TVs. YouTube started to inform [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    Paramount & Adobe Launch ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Trailer Remix Contest

    Adobe has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to launch a remix contest for the trailer of “Terminator: Dark Fate,” which is set to debut in theaters November 1. The winner of the contest will get $10,000 as well as a one-year Adobe Creative Cloud membership and a private screening of the movie for up to [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content