Microsoft is talking to MySpace about a music partnership, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The deal may mean a leap-frog in popularity for MSN's music portal. MySpace's music site is second only to AOL's with 27 million visitors, while Microsoft's current service, MSN Music, hovers around sixth at 7.4 million.
It's all part of MSN's overhaul, says WSJ. This past summer, we learned the portal would begin a "major redo" that will likely play up Bing branding, because of the search engine's success. Microsoft is also trying to streamline Bing data and MSN content, and the MSN overhaul could allow Microsoft to finally create some synchrony out of the Windows Live/MSN/Bing branding mess.
Google, of course, has a parallel strategy; just last week, there were all-but-fact rumors reported by TechCrunch that Google would be partnering with iLike and Lala for a new Google music service. ILike is owned by MySpace, so if the rumors are indeed true, it would mean the Myspace-MSN deal isn't exactly exclusive.
Isn't there someone missing from this party? Oh yeah, Facebook. Just five days ago, Facebook announced it would be selling songs in its Gift Shop. The network reportedly tried to emulate MySpace's music model this summer, but its plans were shot down when Warner Music refused cooperation.