Sure, you can watch digital TV on your iPad, but suppose you want to watch it in your living room? It seems that the xBox gaming console is the most popular non-computer device to watch streaming video, edging out the Apple iPad by 28.2% to 27.1%. Advantage, Microsoft, which owns the Xbox LIVE digital media delivery service.
AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka describes the significance of this “Sneaky Success” as being that more people watch Web video on a Microsoft machine than on an Apple iPad, iPhone or any android machine. “And when it comes to home viewing, competitors like Apple TV, Google TV and Roku are so far behind they’re not even competitors.”
Kafka cited data from Freewheel, an online video ad company, but also described some caveats. Freewheel only measured “professional content” that runs with ads from, for example, NBC, CBS, ESPN and Vevo, but not YouTube videos, or Netflix. Freewheel the company compiled data from its own ad servers.
Also true, the combined total for Apple devices (between iPhones, iPads and iPods) is 56.6%. But for stationary at-home viewing, the Xbox platform is the by-a-length champ.
Whatever the caveats, the data is a powerful indicator of the strength of the Xbox platform. And if that data is not enough, consider that ESPN, CBS Interactive's GameSpot and Last.fm in late April all joined Microsoft's advertising program for the Xbox 360, as Multichannel News reported. The advertising program lets content owners place 15- and 30-second spots in video content distributed through the game console via the Internet. "We're offering the impact of TV and the interactivity and addressability of digital in one platform," Ross Honey, Microsoft general manager of Xbox Live Entertainment and Advertising, said in a statement.
"When we began offering ESPN content on Xbox Live in 2010, it was an entirely new way for fans to interact with ESPN," Eric Johnson, ESPN's executive vice president of multimedia sales, said in the same statement. "The Xbox Live platform offers a TV experience with the accountability and interactivity of the Web—all while reaching the right audience at the right time."
And Of Course, There’s Gaming
Pepsi on Friday (May 11) joined forces with Xbox LIVE to announce the launch of a Pepsi MAX branded mini-game in the UK, modeled on the football action (soccer, to the U.S.) seen in Pepsi MAX’s UK-based Crowd SurfingTV campaign. This project is part of a wider global digital push to amplify the 2012 'MAX It!' campaign. The Xbox LIVE custom Pepsi MAX mini-game has three challenging levels, in which users and their avatars take on Pepsi MAX’s world-class footballers in a game of skill. Completing a level entitles the user to such digital prizes as a Pepsi-branded avatar T-shirt. (It’s just a virtual T-shirt, but gamers live for this stuff.)
The uptake is that a consumer grade Web TV is already here, and it has rich marketing opportunities, with both in-stream ads and advertainment through games.