REDMOND, Wash. — April 24, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that entertainment partners, including ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, as well as CBS Interactive properties GameSpot and Last.fm, Manga Entertainment and MUZU.TV, are the latest to join the growing roster of advertising partners on Xbox LIVE. With the launch of the new Xbox 360 experience in December, advertisers are able to purchase standard 15- and 30-second spots across the Xbox LIVE Run of TV Apps. With nearly 40 million active members worldwide, Xbox LIVE allows advertisers to reach a socially engaged audience on the largest screen in the house.
“With the growth of Xbox LIVE, advertisers no longer have to choose between digital and TV advertising — we’re offering the impact of TV and the interactivity and addressability of digital in one platform,” said Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox LIVE Entertainment and Advertising at Microsoft. “As more and more industry leaders like ESPN work with us to help monetize their content on Xbox LIVE, TV media buyers win with the ability to extend their standard TV spots to this highly engaged consumer audience.”
Traditional TV viewing has become a multiscreen experience with smartphones, tablets and PCs. Brands are looking for deeper engagement with consumers, and Xbox LIVE is increasingly where they are spending their ad dollars. Since 2010, the advertising spending on Xbox LIVE has increased by 142 percent. Xbox LIVE Gold members in the U.S. spend an average of 84 hours a month on Xbox LIVE. Entertainment app usage has more than doubled year over year. For the first time on Xbox LIVE in the U.S., entertainment app usage has surpassed online multiplayer gaming.
“When we began offering ESPN content on Xbox LIVE in 2010, it was an entirely new way for fans to interact with ESPN. These new advertising opportunities will give clients a new way to interact with those fans,” said Eric Johnson, ESPN’s executive vice president of multimedia sales. “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.”
In addition to giving advertising partners an opportunity to extend their advertising reach, Xbox LIVE offers ad partners a robust and scalable ad platform, offering standard ad products, as well as custom solutions. The Xbox LIVE Advertising global sales team consists of gaming and entertainment specialists who engage with top-tier agencies and advertisers in most major ad markets.
Xbox LIVE Advertising is continually working to add new content providers to its Run of TV Apps lineup. Current Run of TV Apps advertising partners on Xbox LIVE include the following:
•AlloCine. Get all your movie news directly on your Xbox 360 with AlloCine. Check out the latest trailers, read the latest reviews, share hot trivia with your friends and find a movie close to home. AlloCine on Xbox LIVE is easy and fun.
•Crackle. Crackle is home to on-demand Hollywood movies and TV series. Watch thousands of full-length movies and TV episodes included with your Xbox LIVE Gold membership at no additional cost.
•ESPN. With thousands of live events, highlights and replays in HD, ESPN on Xbox LIVE will make you a better fan.
•GameSpot TV. (Coming Soon!) A free, ad-supported video streaming application that brings popular GameSpot video content to Xbox Live. Content includes weekly shows, game reviews, live shows, eSports coverage, daily shows, event coverage and official game trailers. GameSpot’s growing list of original content will feature prominently and will initially include “Top 5 Mods of the Week,” “Now Playing,” “Escape From Mount Stupid,” and eSports competitions from around the world.
•Halo Waypoint. Halo Waypoint is the central hub for all things Halo. Check your stats, interact with friends and explore the Halo universe in a feature-filled destination for your favorite game world.
•Last.fm. Discover music with Last.fm on Xbox LIVE. Listen to radio based on your favorite music and tune Last.fm to your musical taste each time you love, skip or ban a track. You can even control your experience with voice commands and gestures via Kinect for Xbox360. With more than 13 million tracks, you’re guaranteed to discover music you’ll love.
•Manga Entertainment. (Coming Soon!) Manga Entertainment on Xbox LIVE enables fans to watch full-length episodes, movies and clips of their favorite anime from the Manga Entertainment catalog included with their Xbox LIVE Gold membership at no additional cost.
•MSN and MSNBC.com. Bringing you the best news, sports and entertainment video from across the Web, 24/7, 365 days a year.
•MUZU.TV. Love music, love video. Eighty-thousand music videos at your command. Brand new releases from the world’s biggest artists, Top 40, great music videos from every decade, up-and-coming bands, and the latest music news and interviews.
•TMZ. Get an all-access pass to the latest entertainment stories and videos everyone is talking about, from fully produced stories to the raw and uncut videos of your favorite celebrities with TMZ.
•“TODAY.” NBC News’ “TODAY,” America’s No. 1 morning news program, provides the latest news, entertainment and lifestyle stories.
•UFC. Get access to live pre-event videos, a catalog of videos on demand, an Interactive Fight Card and pay-per-view events in stunning HD — all together in one place.New Run of TV Apps inventory is expected to be available in the summer 2012 timeframe in select markets.
About Xbox LIVE
Xbox LIVE is the online entertainment service for your Xbox 360, connecting you to an ever-expanding world of games, movies, TV, music, sports and social entertainment. Xbox LIVE lets you play the best games, enjoy one of the world’s largest on-demand libraries on any console, listen to millions of songs and share the fun with friends around the world. Xbox LIVE is also the exclusive home of controller-free online entertainment through Kinect, making your Xbox 360 more intuitive and interactive than ever before. With an active community of nearly 40 million people across 35 countries, Xbox LIVE, together with Xbox 360, provides you with instant access to the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, wherever you are. More information about Xbox LIVE can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/live.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.