As expected, the position of a gaming console attached to millions of household TVs is proving to be an excellent strategy for Microsoft in their stealth attack into the set-top-box market. All Things D has run a blog post about a report from Freewheel—an online video advertisement company—that shows the inkling that this marketing tactic is starting to bear fruit for the Redmond-based software megagiant by using their gaming console as fodder.
Just take a look for yourself, Xbox maintains the largest majority of video views in the report across non-PC devices at 28.2 percent:
For a look at the actual report, it’s over at Freewheel.
However, there’s some things to keep in mind about the report: it only covers professional content that’s displaying advertisements, which means NBC, CBS, ESPN and Vevo—but not silly YouTube Nyan cat videos, Netflix, Hulu, and et cetera. As a result, this sort of gauge is looking at what kind of cable impact we’re seeing with Xbox-as-entertainment-cloud in the living-room than anything else.
We at SiliconANGLE have been watching this trend for a while now and waiting for Microsoft to pounce. After all, we’ve seen reports that streaming video is a big factor in console usage according to a Nielson report. The Xbox experience has been trying to license cable shows, networks, and updated their interface in order to pull all of this into the dashboard that gamers see at launch—it’s obvious that Xbox LIVE is wheedling their way into cable contracts by trying to bring the big guns on board even if the initial showing of FiOS for Xbox did seem extremely lackluster.
Set-top-boxes and Internet-enabled smart-TVs look like they’re the next-big-ticket to Big Entertainment and the big cable companies are looking a little bit trepidations about people cord-cutting away with Internet-based video and television. It’s hard to see that Microsoft and the Xbox should worry them, after all, Xbox LIVE Gold has been trying to cozy up to cable companies by becoming part of their subscription service (furthermore: you do need Internet in order to use Xbox LIVE and cable can provide that.)
On the other side of the market, Google and Apple are pushing hard with their own cable-ready products and services like Google TV and Apple TV. However, they’ll need hardware to support that in the form of set-top-boxes and Internet-hooked smart-TVs—Microsoft already has the jump on them with a console already in millions of households.
It’s just the flip of a switch.
On that front, Google and Apple have it cut out for them on the streaming TV front—especially if Microsoft manages to make nice with a cable provider and wrangles in all those subscribers already sitting in front of their games.