Well I know what ESPN is but I can't exactly comment on the content on the app itself when it's only available to the US market. I didn't bring it up, you did. So what's the point if you're not willing to discuss it and instead using my admitted ignornace as a get out clause? Make your point and tell me what justifies it being behind a paywall. Or does simply being exclusive make it so?
You already thought you knew what it was, just the same VOD that you can get from the website.
Its not. The content itself includes everything you can get on the espn 3 website, plus the stuff that is behind their own paywall in the form of a plus subscription. Then the app itself is tailored for the Xbox both in the UI being very comfortable on a TV and making use of features such as snap, kinect (voice and gestures), and smartglass. Its just a generally well made app from a usability and performance stand point. I have yet to run into issues watching content in HD via that app versus trying to view games via the webpage where I have run into playback issues a few times.
Set aside your feeling about Gold, the app itself is a good one, so we can set aside that point unless you have other questions about how the app works, which I'm glad to share.
The only reason I brought it up was to say that if MS were to offer a couple apps that were high quality and offered something people wanted, then it could add value to Gold. This has nothing to do with the general app store, which must be completely opened and not held behind the paywall.
MS use the sub money to pay for things like the ESPN deal, just as they do when Netflix was an exclusive app and for timed exclusive DLC. Common knowledge and they've given many interviews about it. The sub for XBL only partially goes towards multiplayer costs. So my point is that the content should then be reflective of that deal. It should be exclusive. The app should be special. If all that money bought was the deal then no, it's not a great incentive for it being behind a paywall because I could access it from any other device and not pay for the privilege. The quality of the app has no bearing on being behind a pay wall, the quality of the app is covered by the cost that MS paid them when the deal is made. It didn't come free and it probably has little to do with MS either in most cases. If you can't offer examples of what makes the app special then I'll have to assume there isn't any and doesn't deserve to be behind a paywall.
Well in the case of the ESPN app, it is special. It would qualify as an app your describing. The content itself (i.e. sports games) is not exclusive, but the experience is.
If you feel that a special experience does not warrant any value to be offered to Gold users, then fine, agree to disagree.
I'll repeat this: This has no barring on the idea that the general app store should not be locked to Gold. I'm talking special cases where MS might offer something special.
If you want to break it down to "you get what you pay for" (sounds like what you're getting at), so be it, but it's not going to justify the paywall and it will continue to hurt them nor will people live with it.
After you said I wasn't making this point and I agreed with you, you still want to wrap this all up as defending the status quo. Look, I know you have a very clear position on this and you want to point that out, but I am not making the point above.
So again: I am not saying that MS is justified in offering most apps stuck behind the paywall. 99% of the current apps are not special or unique enough to warrant even considering that they be offered behind a paywall. All of those apps need to pushed like any app store outside of Gold.
I made an attempt to illustrate how MS could offer a couple special apps that might add value while at the same time opening the app store as it must be. Maybe I went too far, who knows.