Bing amps up its music video search function

Bringing in more than 1.7 millions songs from YouTube, Vimeo, MTV, and more, Microsoft's search engine wants to make searching for videos and discovering new artists more straightforward.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read


Bing is harnessing the vast collection of music videos on the Internet and aiming to make it easier for users to listen to their favorite artists and find new ones to pore over.

Microsoft announced Monday that it overhauled its music video search function for users to explore, discover, and browse more music on Bing. The search engine has brought in more than 1.7 million songs from 70,000 artists and 500,000 albums from all across the Web, including YouTube, Vimeo, MTV, Artist Direct, and more.

"Our new music video experience was designed with music lovers in mind," Bing's Multimedia team, Ryan Becker and Deepak Santhanam, wrote in a blog post. "Whether you're looking for videos of songs and artists you are already familiar with (like Led Zeppelin and Justin Timberlake) or you're looking to discover the next up-and-coming artist or revisiting the classics, we've got you covered."

When users now search for an artist on Bing, they'll see the most popular video on the top-left of the screen. On the top-right of the screen, they'll see the artist's biggest hits, along with albums and songs. Users can preview the video by hovering their mouse over the video's thumbnail.

While users can search for a single video, Bing is also working to showcase full albums. To do this, the search engine categorized artists' videos by songs in an album, so users can hear an album in the order the musicians intended. Bing also offers users a sidebar list of related artists, along with providing videos for up-and-coming and lesser-known artists.

"We're not just about top 40 artists -- in this release we've striven to provide the most comprehensive set of videos possible spanning genres, decades, and geography," Becker and Santhanam wrote. "We believe that search should be more than a collection of blue links pointing to pages around the Web. Search should be a reflection of the actual world including music."

Microsoft has been doggedly working to gain market share for its Bing search engine over the past couple of years. While it still has a long way to dethrone Google, it has steadily gained US market share since 2010. In addition to revamping its music video search function, Bing also boosted its regular video search function in September and improved its overall image search feature in August.

As for Google, the tech giant is reportedly in the final stages of prepping a new streaming on-demand music service for YouTube that will have both free and premium versions for desktop and mobile.