I’m not a fan of the newest 360 Dashboard update. I think it’s a User Interface mess, pushing adverts even more to the fore and games even further out of view. But I have been a huge fan of the media streaming applications that it brought with it. The web video services, catch up TV and Netflix’s arrival in the UK have all been fantastic additions to the console.
In an interview with the LA Times, Yusuf Mehdi – head of marketing and strategy for Xbox – has said that average Live usage has increased to 84 hours per month. That’s a year-on-year increase of 30%. But he also points out a significant landmark for the Xbox brand, just over half of that time is spent streaming videos or music. So non-interactive media is now more popular on Xbox Live than Halo, Call of Duty and Forza.
Apparently, there are 66 million Xbox 360s and 20 million Live Gold subscribers. At a very rough average of $60 per year, that’s $1.2 billion per year being spent on Microsoft’s online service.
New streaming services launch in the US today, bringing Major League Baseball’s excellent streaming service, MLB.tv as well as Comcast and HBO’s streaming service which will allow access to some of the best US drama of the past ten years with shows like The Wire, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. All three applications will require users to have an additional subscription to the individual companies on top of the Live Gold membership. Streaming media is huge business.
Source: LA Times