Microsoft expands network of TV-like ads on Xbox Live
Microsoft revealed on Tuesday that it has expanded its lineup of advertising partners on Xbox Live, and will distribute even more TV-like ad spots across the various media apps on the platform.
Xbox Live media apps such as ESPN, Last.fm, Manga Entertainment, GameSpot, and MUZU.TV will now include 15 to 30 second video ad spots. These partners join companies like UFC, TMZ, and Crackle, which have offered these video ads since December.
Microsoft first introduced these TV-like advertisements with last year's major dashboard update, as part of a larger initiative to grow the Xbox 360 platform from a games console into a full-blown entertainment hub.
According to Microsoft, that plan is working so far, as entertainment app usage has doubled year over year for Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S.
This trend toward multimedia entertainment has also coincided with an increase in ad revenue for Microsoft, as ad spending on Xbox Live has increased by 142 percent since 2010.
Xbox Live currently boasts some 40 million active members worldwide, and Microsoft says that U.S.-based Gold members spend an average of 84 hours a month using the service, making it an ideal platform for entertainment and advertisements alike.