Today, in the D: Dive Into press conference, representatives of Microsoft provided more details on its new video production studio, which will provide a new level of interactivity for viewers. Nancy Tellem, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios in Los Angeles, said the company has already hired 150 employees in his studio in Santa Monica in Los Angeles That’s a big commitment for creating a new content type for your game console Xbox.
Tellem joined Microsoft last year to direct efforts of new content. Besides the usual TV content for broadcast, as, Tellem said the company will invest heavily in interactive content, as it can take advantage of products like Xbox Kinect to allow users to provide new ways for viewers to play with things on the screen. “We are in a unique position to produce content with a higher level of interactivity,” Tellem said.
Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment, said the company has sold over 75 million consoles worldwide, and Xbox Live has over 46 million subscribers. Users spend an average of 87 hours per month on the Xbox, and most of that being non-game content. While the user base is still primarily male, Mehdi said that 38 percent of its users are women and 51 percent are people with children.
Tellem see what type of content is particularly attractive to younger viewers using the console. “Everyone is very different, especially when you look at the younger demo,” Tellem said. “Interactivity is a natural extension of what they do.” While the company plans to make its content available through its Xbox Live service, which also seek to monetize that content through advertising.
One thing that Microsoft is not interested in doing is becoming a cable competitor by building content packages. Part of it is about being friendly with the content providers and distributors to deliver video over their devices. Some of it does not feel like they can bring real value to be a virtual cable provider.
The news comes as rumors have circulated about the next generation Xbox, expected to be called the Xbox 720. These include the belief that the new Xbox will always DRM, which will destroy the used market the game. Furthermore, the revelation that the game console next generation Xbox Kinect required to work. But Mehdi declined to comment on the company’s plans for the next generation box.