Nearly half of Xbox Live subscribers watch 30 hours of video content every month

42 percent of Xbox Live subscribers watch 30 hours of video content each month. With numbers like that, it's no surprise that Microsoft has been aggressively pushing non-gaming features for Xbox One.

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42 percent of Xbox Live subscribers watch 30 hours of video content each month. With numbers like that, it's no surprise that Microsoft has been aggressively pushing non-gaming features for Xbox One. According to Microsoft's Kevin Turner, 40 percent of the Xbox Live audience is female--likely due to the incredible success of Xbox as a video delivery service.

While Microsoft has been oft-criticized for mandating a Gold subscription to access services like Netflix and Hulu Plus (which require their own subscriptions), it doesn't appear the company will change their position any time soon. VentureBeat reports that the company has "no plans" to remove the pay wall.

So, while PS3 may be the biggest TV-connected platform for Netflix, Microsoft is clearly happy with the results. The company is working on securing original video content for Xbox Live.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 19, 2013 5:00 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Nearly half of Xbox Live subscribers watch 30 hours of video content every month.

    42 percent of Xbox Live subscribers watch 30 hours of video content each month. With numbers like that, it's no surprise that Microsoft has been aggressively pushing non-gaming features for Xbox One.

    • reply
      September 19, 2013 5:03 PM

      Andrew, was this a factoid read at Microsoft's first financial analyst meeting in two years? http://allthingsd.com/20130919/microsoft-no-update-on-ceo-search/

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      September 19, 2013 7:24 PM

      '...the company has "no plans" to remove the pay wall.'

      Then I have "no plans" to buy an Xbone. The double-dip paywall is one of the biggest things the PS4 has over the XBO, and its making it easy to justify one over the other.

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        September 19, 2013 8:15 PM

        But if you want to play multiplayer on either system, you're gonna have to pay anyway. If you don't play online, then yeah, PS4 is a better choice.

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          September 19, 2013 8:38 PM

          At least with PS4 I'd feel like I was paying Sony for an actual service they provide (a unified matchmaking/multiplayer infrastructure). With XBO it just feels like some fat guy named Louie the Nose is telling me to cough up 60 big ones if I ever wanna see my precious Netflix again.

          There's also a bit of irony with how much Microsoft is promoting the XBO as "tv, tv, tv, sports, sports, sports," yet the PS4 seems like it'll do just as good a job of that without costing nearly as much.

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            September 19, 2013 8:51 PM

            right.

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            September 19, 2013 9:05 PM

            Lol, ok. Spoken like someone who didn't use XBL on the 360, which was an excellent MP service that outshone PSN for several years while Sony got their shit together.

            But whatever, you've clearly made your mind up on this issue.

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              September 19, 2013 9:14 PM

              I just wish people like him would come out and admit that they are simply brand-loyal to a fault.

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                September 19, 2013 9:34 PM

                Number of PS3s I own: 0
                Number of 360s I own: 1

                Think before you type next time.

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                  September 20, 2013 4:28 AM

                  You're a sassy one.

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                    September 20, 2013 4:59 AM

                    Don't make me around-the-world-and-back snap you.

                    ...okay this is getting weird now.

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                September 20, 2013 1:55 AM

                Nah. I've owned as many 360s as PS3s, and I've always said XBL feels like a fucking ripoff. The fact that PSN+ is now so much better for my purposes is awesome, but as long as MS sticks shit I'm already paying for behind a paywall, I think they should be called on it, because it's some straight up bullshit.

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                  September 20, 2013 2:17 AM

                  Did you buy Live for the multi-player gaming or the media features? If it was for the former, I can completely understand your frustration with the system. If it was for the latter, then you should have used the PS3 in that capacity since online gaming obviously wasn't your focus.

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                    September 20, 2013 2:47 AM

                    I bought Live because when I got my 360, everyone was talking like it was essential. I eventually realized I just couldn't stand MP on consoles and canceled. This was long before the paywall for other services (which didn't even exist then). My opposition to MS' paywall is purely on principle, but I feel like it continues a trend of them charging for a bunch of services that are free elsewhere, both on console and PC.

                    Obviously Sony is putting more effort into their MP stuff this time around and thus MP is behind their paywall now. I don't have an issue with this, largely because (as I mentioned) I don't really use console MP anyway, and I was already happy to pay for PSN+ because of the value it has added to my PS3 in terms of the sheer volume of free games available (Vita too).

                    Whether or not I continue with PSN+ depends on what Sony does on PS4 to make it value-adding since I assume they won't just be tossing us free PS4 titles each month.

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                September 20, 2013 3:10 AM

                Xbox defense force out in force this morning!

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                  September 20, 2013 3:20 AM

                  Dude, you've shit all over literally everything MS has announced about the new system in every thread I've seen a out the Xbone; you can't claim to be neutral in this discussion. And, yes, as someone who has spent literally thousands of hours using both systems in my previous jobs, I prefer the implementation for online that Microsoft is using. How that makes me part of the "Xbox defense force" is beyond me, however. Hence my complaint about so many of the anti-Xbone posts; they typically come from people who, in my experience, have never used a console other than the one from their multinational conglomerate of choice.

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                    September 20, 2013 4:58 AM

                    It's the way you jump all over people that gives you away. My beef with ms this round is kinect, can't blame me for that.

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                September 20, 2013 3:33 AM

                Microsoft started strong, but they lost the value argument with XBL in a massive way over the end of this generation.

                It's dumb because if they just kept charging for their excellent multiplayer I don't think people would object to XBL. But putting everything else their console does behind a paywall reeks of a petty cash-grab in a way that (imo) made people really hostile towards the service.

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                  September 20, 2013 3:39 AM

                  I think you're right about that. People got on board with the MP cost because it did what most of them wanted and Sony's free offering didn't. So it made sense, you get what you pay for.

                  But with the media stuff, it's free everywhere else, and equally if not more functional (so I hear, I haven't actually used the 360 Netflix app) on those free platforms, making it really hard to justify that being behind the paywall.

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                  September 20, 2013 3:40 AM

                  The people who are hostile against the service are still a vocal minority at best. To the family whose kids play minecraft online with their friends, and who otherwise use the system predominately to stream movies and TV shows, getting access to an online ecosystem for less than the cost of one cup of coffee a month from Starbucks is still a great value proposition.

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                    September 20, 2013 3:47 AM

                    Possibly. I don't know if they're a minority outside of the US/UK where XBL is (to be blunt) crap.

                    And I also don't know if they're a minority among the early adopters who are the most relevant immediate customers for the next gen consoles.

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                      September 20, 2013 3:56 AM

                      Early adopters and tech people also tend to overstate their own importance. When you're dealing with a device with a lifespan of a decade, it doesn't matter if your tech-savvy nephew picks it up on release day, what matters is how many people buy it over the lifespan of the console. And only a significant minority of those buyers will be influenced by the techie crowd.

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              September 19, 2013 9:27 PM

              On the contrary, I've used XBL, and it was miles better than PS3 "who knows what multiplayer system you get" approach.

              That's the point though: this time around PS4 isn't making the "eh, developers can use whatever system they want" mistake that made multiplayer on PS3 so dodgy. They're using the same approach as XBL used: Sony maintains the servers used for connecting clients to each other (but not hosting), and the core of the multiplayer system is built into the PS4 OS. I can get behind paying for that, because I'd be paying Sony for a service they're providing. I'm not cool with paying Microsoft just so I can access content they have zero involvement with.

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                September 19, 2013 10:28 PM

                See, now this is a well-written post. Your first one was just kind of vague and ramble-y. I can definitely appreciate having an issue with the double-paywall the way you state it. But for me, personally, it's not an issue since I'll be continuing my Xbox Live subscription anyways so I can play multiplayer games. If I were looking for a system to just use as a media streamer, with no interest in MP, I would definitely go for the PS4, though. I think Microsoft is counting on the fact that the overwhelming majority of Live subscribers are doing so primarily for gaming, with media services a close second. That said, if they do want to continue to focus on the media market, eliminating the paywall for Netflix/Hulu/etc. might be a good idea (although possibly a PITA since their whole network architecture is based around Live).

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                September 20, 2013 12:24 AM

                But you wouldn't pay Microsoft "just" so you can access content. You would be paying for the same service you would be getting from Sony: maintaining servers, matchmaking, etc. For me, media streaming is just a bonus with XBL, honestly, since I actually currently use other devices for all my streaming. If the Xbone does it better than the 360, I might switch, but accessing Netflix/HBO Go etc. is not a key reason for me for buying these new consoles or paying for an online service.

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                  September 20, 2013 1:58 AM

                  Yeah, but it's only a bonus because they say it is. Technically, when a store pays a local gang protection money they aren't "just" paying them to not burn the place to the ground, they also get some limited protection from other gangs.

                  And no, the two aren't equivalent precisely, but the concept is the same. Microsoft is taking something that should be an inherent quality of any internet-capable device and telling you "no, you can't have it unless you pay me". It doesn't matter what other features I get with it, they should never be asking me to pay for the first thing at all.

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                    September 20, 2013 2:13 AM

                    You've really got to stop with the Mafia comparisons if you want people to take you seriously.

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                      September 20, 2013 5:04 AM

                      They're blocking access to a service THEY DON'T OWN and making you pay money to regain that access. If there's a comparison example for that which doesn't involve crime of some sort I would love to hear it.

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                        September 20, 2013 5:19 AM

                        is this kind of like paying for hbo or showtime when i already pay money to comcast

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                          September 20, 2013 5:32 AM

                          No, because in that example Comcast actually deserves some money there, what with them installing and maintaining the equipment necessary to get the HBO signal into your house. Microsoft has exactly nothing invested in the process required to get Netflix content from their servers to your Xbox, other than making the hardware you want to view Netflix on.

                          To use your example, it'd be like paying for a Comcast subscription, then buying a TV made by Microsoft and discovering that you have to pay MS $5 a month to be able to tune to anything above channel 13.

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                            September 20, 2013 7:07 AM

                            So, it was OK for Sony to put automatic patching behind the paywall of the PS3?

                            Just stop dude. There is plenty of value to be had in the XBL subscription. Should it be free for all? Maybe. Obviously people are pretty much fine with it the way it is, less a few vocal minority that would gripe about anything.

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                              September 20, 2013 8:33 AM

                              Charging extra for opening the gate to video services is a rip-off no matter which way you spin it. Services that can be freely accessed from my PlayStation, my PC and my phone costs another $15 a month on Xbox? It's bullshit. There's no way to justify it from a consumer perspective. It's not like I get better bitrates or resolution or anything with Netflix on Xbox compared to any other platforms.

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                                September 20, 2013 8:37 AM

                                Where the fuck are you buying your Xbox LIVE that it costs you $15 a month? I think you are getting ripped off there buddy.

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                                  September 20, 2013 10:31 AM

                                  My bad, it's 10 dollars a month for a monthly subscription here. Still retarded for something that's free on every other platform.

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                                September 20, 2013 9:11 AM

                                Actually, I think the Xbox is the only device to do superhd Netflix?

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                                  September 20, 2013 9:12 AM

                                  Isn't SuperHD dependent on the movie and your internet provider?

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                                  September 20, 2013 10:24 AM

                                  That's exclusive to Samsung smart tvs here (for free, I might add).

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                              September 20, 2013 3:46 PM

                              No, it wasn't cool for them to do that, just like it's not cool for Xbox to charge me for a service they have no hand in. Nice strawman though.

          • reply
            September 19, 2013 9:07 PM

            I was with you while you said "At" then you lost me.

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            September 19, 2013 9:12 PM

            Your comment about the matchmaking/multiplayer infrastructure makes it obviously you literally have no idea what you're talking about. If you want to be a console warrior, that's fine, but don't pretend to be knowledgeable about something when you obviously aren't.

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              September 19, 2013 9:34 PM

              Yeah, that, or I read one of the dozen or so articles with Sony employees talking about why PS4 multiplayer is going to cost, where they specifically mention the servers Sony's maintaining for PS4 multiplayer.

              But yeah, it's clearly the other thing that fits into your myopic worldview because I hurt your feels when I said mean things about the XBO. Pot calling kettle much?

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                September 20, 2013 12:26 AM

                Honestly it just seemed like you were completely ignoring the infrastructure that Microsoft has in place that makes XBL the reliable service that it has been for the past decade.

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                  September 20, 2013 5:10 AM

                  Ah... well my bad, I should have clarified that I suppose. XBL does have a very good multiplayer system in place, no doubt, but that's not where my objections are.

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            September 19, 2013 9:18 PM

            "At least with PS4 I'd feel like I was paying Sony for <everything that XBox has accomplished with gold since 2005>"

            Just go away.

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            September 20, 2013 7:36 AM

            wat? Xbox Live is clearly the better service for online MP and the reason why I continue to pay for Xbox Live over PSN.

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            September 20, 2013 8:49 AM

            LOL I think you have that backwards - MS has a curated multiplayer environment with unified matchmaking and voice support across all titles (even when not in game). Sony has a wild wild west who knows what you are going to get with just about every title.

            I don't get where you thinkt the PS4 will be the better media machine; it seems to me they are going to continue to do the same things they were doing on PS3 where as Xbone at least appears to have a new take on it.

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              September 20, 2013 6:32 PM

              Yes, MS has a good MP system with Live, I'm not debating that. What I'm saying is that Sony has laid out their plans for MP on the PS4 and it looks suspiciously close to what Live is now. 360 MP is leagues better than PS3, but all indicators are that XBO vs. PS4 MP are going to be a lot closer, specifically because Sony is ditching the "wild west" approach (good description there) and going for the unified "this is the MP system, use it" approach instead.

              And as for why the PS4 looking to be a better media platform? Simple: I don't have to pay Sony monthly to keep the PS4 functioning as a media machine.

      • reply
        September 20, 2013 6:36 AM

        And this is why I'm buying a PS4. I do use my X360 more to watch Netflix now than play games, now that I have a kid. But I don't like how crappy their points worked before they phased them out a few weeks ago, I hate having to resubscribe just to get access to my existing 3rd party apps, and the whole "we charge for certification / DLC / etc" means that I pretty much never buy additional content for the platform.

        I'm perfectly happy to give the PS4 a shot. It may seem like an outrageous expense for what a Roku could do, but I like the interface (and my son's now used to the controller), the potential for smartphone integration is a huge plus, and it sounds like as a gaming platform Sony's hitting all the high notes, while Microsoft continues to bumble along.

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      September 19, 2013 9:10 PM

      Those subscribers obviously aren't real gamers.

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      September 19, 2013 9:22 PM

      XB1 is basically aiming to be the Cable box of the post Cable TV/Satellite era.

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        September 20, 2013 1:27 AM

        I dunno, Microsoft seems pretty hellbent on integrating it with current cable...

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      September 19, 2013 10:06 PM

      Well if I was PAYING for the damn online service then I suspect I'd better get some damn use out of it! Durrrr.

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        September 19, 2013 10:20 PM

        yeah, I just watch Netflix every day because I feel obligated to. If only I could free myself from these awful subscriptions and stop watching online content, ugh.

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      September 20, 2013 12:45 AM

      Im wondering how many of those Xbox subscribers are actually passed out with netflix/videos running all night?

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        September 20, 2013 2:14 AM

        Probably not that many. As much as people like to dismiss it, there are a ton of consumers for whom their console is also their media hub.

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          September 20, 2013 2:56 AM

          That doesn't seem like a good long-term business model for MS. Charging for something that competitors do free and better? It'll work in the short-term but longer-term you're going to lose customers.

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            September 20, 2013 7:14 AM

            They aren't charging for things people do for free and better. They are using all these little carrots to dangle in-front of different consumers to get them to buy into the Xbox LIVE service.

            They want this to be the "One" box in your home theater system. So, yea, they need to do things that other devices do, and possibly that other devices do for "free". But the end goal, is to get you tied into their system and playing games, playing them on-line, buying games on-line, consuming your on-line media.

            Everyone loves to pick and pull parts of the Xbox LIVE subscription out and say "BUT SONY DOES THIS FOR FREE!" Yea, and how much money did Sony lose last year?

            You guys keep forgetting this is all a business. If you don't like what Microsoft is doing, go somewhere else. There are, however, lots of people who like how Microsoft is doing business and show that by Xbox LIVE subscriptions and Xbox purchases.

            • reply
              September 20, 2013 3:59 PM

              That's fine and all, except for the part where Microsoft has ZERO involvement in the process required to watch Netflix on your 360 or XBO.

              But okay, let's skip the Netflix example and go to another one: Facebook. Facebook is a web page. A really complicated web page, but a web page. Anything internet-capable should be able to view it. Can the 360 or XBO? NO. Why? Because Microsoft wants money. That is the only reason. There's no technical reason to limit access, nor does accessing Facebook require any sort of servers that Microsoft maintains.

              What's more, your ability to browse Facebook or watch Netflix on an XBO is not going to be any different than it is on a PS3 or PS4. There's no value added on the XBO end: you are getting the EXACT SAME SERVICE, but because its on a Microsoft product you are expected to pay Microsoft money.

              The bottom line is Microsoft expects you to pay them for a service THEY DON'T PROVIDE in any way, shape, or form. They're doing none of the work, but asking for money for said work, and providing zero benefits over the free alternative. That's not just wrong, that's really bad business practices.

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                September 20, 2013 4:07 PM

                Its not bad business when people buy it.

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                  September 20, 2013 6:22 PM

                  That remains to be seen. PS4 and XBO are going to be the first consoles sold as media centers as well as gaming platforms. I can't imagine "oh and you have to pay monthly to use the media features" is going to do anything great for XBO sales when PS4 is offering the same features at no monthly fee.

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          September 20, 2013 3:27 AM

          This is also true, my wife loves using my PS3 as her media/netflix hub.

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            September 20, 2013 3:37 AM

            Exactly. The modern console has moved beyond the pure gaming device that most of us grew up with. Anyone who doesn't think that the current round of consoles aren't Sony and Microsoft competing for the place of honor in your living room for gaming, entertainment, web, etc., are deluding themselves.

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              September 20, 2013 4:17 AM

              Her reasoning behind using the PS3 is that it is fast and more reliable as a streaming device than the dedicated blu-ray player we have and varied dedicated streaming devices such as roku. She also prefers using the PS3 controller as it is easy to navigate menus and is more responsive as she doesn't have to point directly at the PS3.

              The modern console is an all-in-one family entertainment device and serves that role well, at least in my household.

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              September 20, 2013 4:27 AM

              You are all over the place here. Sometimes you argue xblive is more than multiplayer, then you argue it's for gamers and the media stuff is just a bonus, then you argue it is for nongamers to use as a media hub.. make up your mind.

              It comes down to this: Microsoft should not charge for use of Netflix etc. They simply shouldn't. Like Sony doesn't and won't even as they charge for multiplayer. Your blind defense of the shitty practice just because you like the rest of the service makes you the platform warrior.

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                September 20, 2013 4:53 AM

                Agreed. Requiring you to have an XBL sub to use Netflix is unacceptable. It wouldn't surprise me if it's another thing they might 180 on, though.

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                  September 20, 2013 5:26 AM

                  Honestly, the double paywall is what's keeping me in the PS4 camp. Really, that's it. I like my 360 and I want to like the XBO, but there's not enough compelling reasons (read: exclusives) to justify the extra cost of it compared to the PS4. Dropping the paywall for everything but multiplayer would at least make the playing field reasonably even.

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                September 20, 2013 6:17 AM

                Yeah, this is my main beef with XBL - the value proposition is just terrible for me. I already have like three or four other devices that play Netflix, but MS feels their $300 machine shouldn't be able to stream it unless you pay them an additional $50/yr? Yeah, okay. Between this, the ads still being present even with Gold, or their hilariously overpriced wifi adapter was enough for me to stay far away.

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                September 20, 2013 7:16 AM

                The thing everyone forgets here. Sony didn't have a paywall setup when they started adding media services. So they never moved them behind the paywall. Instead, they put silly things like automatic patching behind the paywall, and then eventually giving games away, behind that same paywall.

                They did move multiplayer behind it on the PS4, and I'm really shocked they didn't move some of the media things behind it too.

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                  September 20, 2013 7:33 AM

                  So what? What does any of that matter? They didn't put it behind the paywall. You don't get to complain about them doing things they didn't do.

                  And please don't tell me free games are a silly thing to reserve for subscribers. Jesus christ man I don't even know how to respond to that.

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                    September 20, 2013 8:38 AM

                    I don't think I said anything to the effect of whatever you are implying I did.

                    All I stated was, they didn't put it behind a paywall because they didn't have a paywall from the get-go. It's kinda obvious that they would have faced a huge backlash if they moved Netflix behind the PSN+ wall when they introduced it.

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                      September 20, 2013 9:26 AM

                      It didn't happen that way and even if they had a paywall you can't know that they would use it that way, so like I said, it's a completely pointless statement to make.
                      If this is supposed to make people feel better about xblive, man you are grasping at straws.

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                September 20, 2013 7:25 AM

                Indeed.

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          September 20, 2013 3:33 AM

          I think it's also a bit of a fluke (with both systems), in that they became these media hubs over time and didn't launch that way. I doubt people bought 360 to use as a media hub, but many people have begun doing so because it's convenient, and I'm sure there's a lot of households with one or two gamers that use these systems to game, but potentially many more people in the home who will only ever use it for media purposes.

          It's the same way with my PS3. It does more Netflix than anything else, but not because I don't use it for games, but because there's three other people in my house who generally use it for media.

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            September 20, 2013 3:42 AM

            I completely agree with this post

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              September 20, 2013 4:27 AM

              Absolutely, not only are consoles convenient media hubs but they are also reliable. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have netflix constantly buffering off a junky bluray player or having your media streamer device (roku) locking up or having a crappy remote to deal with, PS360 has become the goto device as it does not have these issues.

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            September 20, 2013 5:19 AM

            The 360 definitely was not launched as a media center. The earliest versions had some token streaming options only available if you happened to own a PC running the craptastic Windows Media Center Edition, and HD-DVD was an after-market add-on. It was definitely designed as a games console first.

            The PS3 is the opposite though. Remember, it's what Sony used to push BluRay into the lead in the most recent format war. Even if the motivation was more business based than consumer based, the PS3 was designed so that it could function reliably as a BluRay player.

            I'm not sure how much influence the PS3/BluRay thing had on the emergence of consoles as a media center. Honestly I think things like Xbox Media Center had a fair bit of influence, possibly more. The console makers finally noticed all these people hacking their products to play media and said "waiiiiit a sec, what if we offered that as a... whatsit... feature?"

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        September 20, 2013 2:59 PM

        this can't happen. tv shows stop showing episodes after 3 episodes requiring you to confirm with button press to continue. movies stop after 1 showing.

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      September 20, 2013 2:12 AM

      I watch 0 hours with mine ! fuckwads, don't even support subtitles (at-least not until recently for streamed content, and still not for local content).
      So I have other media players instead, lost opportunity for them.

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      September 20, 2013 5:26 AM

      This is me, and my daughters and my wife.

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      September 20, 2013 7:45 AM

      The only thing I do with my gaming machines is play games. I do not wish nor want any other form of media interfering with my gaming time.
      If resources are not poured 100% percent into gaming, gaming culture and making gaming better then I have no use for it (when it comes time to game).
      Everything in its right place.

      • reply
        September 20, 2013 7:46 AM

        So no ps4 or xb1 for you. Neither can you get a pc. What will you play on?

      • reply
        September 20, 2013 2:16 PM

        So how are you liking your WiiU?

    • reply
      September 20, 2013 9:36 AM

      The only thing I do with consoles any more is watch media. I play games on my computer.

    • reply
      September 21, 2013 9:25 AM

      The reason so many watch videos that subscribe is simple. You cannot watch netflix etc.. on Xbox without being xbox live gold.. It just won't let you. No gold no streaming. Arrogance is MS biggest problem.

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