Microsoft is reaching into its pockets to buy its way into relationships with the music industry.
This morning, Bloomberg revealed that the company has agreed to pay a cut of sales of its Zune music player to the world's largest major label, Universal Music.
The company has also offered to give cash to other majors and some independent labels, the report claims, citing Zune marketing general manager Chris Stephenson.
It's part of Microsoft's attempt to topple Apple's dominance of the evolving digital music market.
"This is another way for Microsoft to try to drive a wedge between Apple and the record labels,'' Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg reportedly said. "Where it will pay dividends: it could gain Microsoft exclusive content or content before Apple, and all it costs Microsoft is money.''
The cash is being given to artists under a new payment plan the company has developed in an attempt to buy music industry support for its device.