Speaking at the All Things D: Dive into Media industry
event, senior Microsoft executives announced that the usage of their Xbox
platform has expanded significantly, with worldwide sales of over 76 million
consoles and the usage of entertainment content growing 57% in 2012.
The data is notable because it highlights the large and growing
usage of gaming consoles as a platform for accessing TV and movie content.
These platforms are likely to become even more important in
upcoming months. Sony is expected to announce a new version of its competing
PlayStation console next week.
That launch will heat up the ongoing competition between the
two platforms, particularly in the U.S., where Microsoft says the Xbox 360 has
been the No. 1 selling console for 24 consecutive months.
Overall, Yusuf Mehdi, senior VP at Microsoft's Interactive
Entertainment Business, reported that there are now some 46 million subscribers
to Xbox Live services, up 15% over the last year and that the amount of TV and
entertainment offerings on Xbox almost tripled in 2012, with nearly 100 custom,
voice-controlled Xbox Live apps available.
That fueled record entertainment usage, with Xbox delivering
over 18 billion hours of entertainment content in 2012, up 10% over 2011.
Overall, the average Xbox Gold subscriber in the U.S. now
spends 87 hours a month on Xbox. Worldwide, entertainment app usage grew 57% in
the last year.
Microsoft released the data on its website following the
Microsoft also reported that Nancy Tellem, Microsoft's
entertainment and digital media president, discussed the new L.A. studio that
Microsoft is building that will be creating interactive content for Xbox. She
unveiled the name of the studio -- Xbox Entertainment Studios. She also noted
that it will also be used for interactive live events, according an
announcement describing her presentation at the event.
"We want to partner with the industry to bring entertainment
into a new era," she noted in a statement. "It is an era when interactive
entertainment becomes the greatest form of all entertainment."
Mehdi also said that 24 million Kinect sensors have been
sold around the world to-date and that the audience is broadening from its
younger male roots. The Experian Simmons Spring 2012 Media survey found that
38% of the Xbox Live audience in the U.S. is female and 54% had at least one or
more child in the household.