January 19, 2010

EVERY MAN HIS OWN NETWORK EXECUTIVE:

Xbox Takes On Cable, Streaming TV Shows and Movies (BRIAN STELTER, 1/19/2009, NY Times)

The roughly 20 million monthly members of Xbox Live can surf Facebook, browse an online mall of movies and TV episodes and, if they pay, watch Netflix.

“It’s 20 million connected living rooms,” said Marc Whitten, the general manager of Xbox Live.

Similarly, users of the Sony PlayStation can tune into BBC shows and see Weather Channel updates, as well as stream Netflix. Last week, Netflix extended its streaming service to the Nintendo Wii.

Among the many companies that want to transport the on-demand qualities of the Internet into the living room — the over-the-top model, in industry parlance — the console makers have a significant head start. Nearly 60 percent of American homes now have at least one console, according to the consulting firm Deloitte, up from 44 percent three years ago.

“For both of the big guys, it’s about extending the value of the hardware platform,” said Mike McGuire, a vice president for the research firm Gartner, referring to Microsoft and Sony. “The devices are hooked to TVs and have broadband connections, and there are more and more opportunities to license movies and TV shows and deliver them in over-the-top models.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 19, 2010 6:34 AM
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