More Ad’s On Way For Xbox 360 Users
News broke yesterday regarding some of Microsoft’s future plans to ‘further monetize’ their Xbox live subscribers through the use of yet more advertising which will appear in a number of dashboard app’s such as Muzu.tv, last.fm and ESPN. The TV style adverts will supposedly be running to lengths of between 15-30 seconds according to an article on Gamasutra and will be placed in predefined ‘spots’, it is however unclear if these will be in the style of say youtube where you have to watch an ad to get to the content or if they will be popping up in the middle of a show in a full on TV style ad break.
Now while a multinational company such as Microsoft trying to make more money is not actually news, the manner in which it is doing so this time irk’d me enough to write this post. Although I feel this sort of move was inevitable at some point I can’t say I’m pleased about it especially given the fact that Xbox Live gold members are already paying up to $60 for the privilege of playing their games online and for the use of these supposedly free app’s.
A number of people in various threads over at sites like Destructoid, Gamasutra and IGN are positively howling at this prospect and although I am not as upset as some I can agree with some of their points. On the flip side however I also feel that as long as this stuff is restricted to the ‘free’ ap’s it will be bearable, but only just. If this starts to get anywhere near the other paid for services such as Netflix or if it makes its way into games then a lot of people will vote with their feet and head over to PSN.
I must admit that my first reaction to this news was ‘so what? You pay for TV services like Sky and they have tonnes of ad’s, whats the difference?’ and to that point I saw no satisfactory answers anywhere but then I actually thought about it. Does the fact that this happened to all the other media outlets, analog TV, cable, satellite TV, youtube etc mean that we should accept it here? I don’t think so, but Microsoft clearly does and I wonder how long it will take for Sony to get in on the action.