Microsoft has announced an agreement with Epic Records to offer exclusive artist content and high-definition music video downloads free for all Xbox360 gamers for a year.

The move clearly shows that Microsoft is hoping to use the games console and more than just a gaming machine and could be the company's backdoor entry into the music video and more importantly movie download business.

In the agreement, over the next year, Xbox360 and Epic Records will showcase 12 up-and-coming artists through the Artist of the Month (AOM) program via the Xbox Live service.

Kicking off the AOM program on Xbox Live is British singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield.

“Our goal has always been to make Xbox Live a cutting-edge entertainment experience”, said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This agreement with Epic Records offers our members exclusive artistic content directly from the source. With Artist of the Month we will be providing exactly what music-loving gamers want: brand-new, exclusive music videos that can be downloaded quickly, easily and free of charge.”

Each month Microsoft and Epic will announce the new Artist of the Month along with exclusive benefits for Xbox360 gamers around the world.

Xbox Live members will be able to download featured music videos from Xbox Live Marketplace at no additional charge and watch exclusive interviews downloaded directly to their Xbox360 system.