Microsoft has scrapped its previous advertising agency and doubled its marketing budget as it attempts to secure a toehold in the personal media player market with its Zune player.

A report on Advertising Age reveals the company's slightly more aggressive plan as it chases Apple's iPod coat-tails in the fast-developing media player market.

The company spent $9 million on advertising its US-only product in 2006. As a result Zune gained 10 per cent share of the $250-plus hard drive media player market - a crumb in comparison to Apple's 86.1 per cent share. It holds a 2.2 per cent overall market share in the media player space, and faces tough competition from SanDisk and Samsung in the US.

Microsoft has also abandoned its focus on the media sharing capabilities of Zune (partially because these were limited and buggy), and now tags its product with the "you make it you" strap-line.

"We are very much aware of the strength of our competition, but once our company gets into something, it will not give up," a Microsoft executive explained. "It's good being in the number two place - we can fight the good fight."

iPod meanwhile remains the dominant music player brand, a dominance expected to be reinforced by strong sales of the iPod touch and expectation of heavy iPhone sales this Christmas.