Blog Post

Microsoft To Launch MSN Premium

MSN Premium, the broadband Internet service from MSN, will debut in early January at CES. MSN Premium, which is based on the new MSN 9 code that will ship around the same time, will include several additional technologies over its dial-up brethren, including advanced spam filtering, antivirus tools, unique multimedia features, and a firewall. Microsoft is positioning MSN Premium against AOL 9.0 Optimized, a similar premium broadband-oriented service that market-leader AOL launched this fall.

MSN Premium will cost $9.95 a month when added to existing broadband access or about $45 per month for the full ISP package, depending on your broadband provider. These prices compare favorably with AOL 9.0 Optimized, which costs about $5 more per month than MSN Premium.

Bundling Access and Content: That’s the new MSN mantra: In the long term, MSN will likely focus on building up subscribers in two areas. It has plenty of opportunity to sell its bundled offering within its partnerships with Qwest and other ISPs. Outside of those partnerships, MSN can encroach into competitors’ territories — such as the SBC subscribers that Yahoo covets — and lure customers with MSN Premium.