The lights are on
Netflix has Arrested Development season four, House of Cards, and more. Amazon has Alpha House. Next year Microsoft is entering the realm of original shows, available via the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Nancy Tellem, president of entertainment and digital at Microsoft, joined the company in 2012 to help create original programming for the Xbox. The company is still discerning what type of original show will speak best to the Xbox’s install base. According to Tellem, some of the discussion revolves around whether to make the content “only on Xbox” or “best on Xbox.” Microsoft’s interactive NFL broadcasts are referenced as an example.
“I started when we had three networks and dictated what the audience would watch and when they would watch it,” Tellem said. “Millennials are now dictating what we’re doing. I prefer a more passive experience, but this new millennial generation are multi-tasking and leaning in. They want the option to watch when they want to watch.”
The new programming, coming early next year, will only be available to Xbox Live subscribers.
Our TakeGetting Xbox Live subscribers hooked with original programming is a great way for Microsoft to keep their numbers up, assuming they produce worthwhile content. The challenge that Microsoft faces compared to Netflix or Amazon is that Xbox 360 and Xbox One users are mainly gamers that are interested in using the system to play games. Netflix exists and serves its general purpose perfectly, so Microsoft will likely try to create a show that caters to the gaming audience. How video games are portrayed in TV shows is an inconsistent mess, and tricky ground to cover. Hopefully Xbox Live users will have an extra reason to keep their subscriptions active come next year.