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Microsoft Creates Original Video Unit For Zune

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Zune, Microsoft’s big portable music and video hope, has added an original content production unit that will produce a series of free ad-supported short videos for its users. The first project is a comedy series called “Cinemash” that it has created with arts and entertainment mag Mean. It will launch in May as an eight-episode series, in three- to five-minute installments, and will feature celebs playing the roles in movies they wish they’d landed, according to Variety. The company plans to tie up with others in Hollywood to create more series for Zune, though it is unlikely to make any dent in moving the devices any faster…

MSFT execs have been making the rounds of talent agencies and production companies here in Hollywood since last year, trying to drum up these exclusive content deals.

This comes even as Zune platform revenues decreased $100 million (54 percent) in Q408, according to a 10-Q filed late last month, picked up by us here. More details in release.

Chris Stephenson, GM of global marketing for Microsoft