Xbox Live has more subscribers than Comcast

The traditional means of obtaining video in the house has been changing day by day, and Microsoft has been at the forefront of the change with Xbox Live. Sony placed a bet on the physical Blu-ray format in their PS3, but Microsoft has always been about digital distribution, as evidenced by the fact that they have completely ignored the Blu-ray format and barely supported HD DVD with just an add-on peripheral.

According to the New York Times, Microsoft now boasts over 25 million Xbox Live subscribers, two million more subscribers than cable giant Comcast. Although not all of these users utilize the service for video, the numbers are growing quickly since all of the extras are included in the yearly subscription fee. The Xbox 360 allows easy streaming throughout your household, Xbox Live was the first console service to have Netflix streaming, and Microsoft has a store that can be used to purchase movies, television shows, music, and the like. In addition, ESPN3 will be able to be streamed through the service for no extra charge once the Fall dashboard update is released later this week, and Hulu service will be provided soon as well.

The question will be whether ISPs will start to fight back against these services. Comcast has lost over 275,000 customers over the past three months, and some of that has to be attributed to automatic streaming services like those that the Xbox 360 offers. Will we start to see metered subscriptions where your ISP charges per gigabyte?

Microsoft has always believed that digital distribution is the future of home entertainment, and they seem to have predicted the market correctly as the world begins shifting away from physical media. Streaming has issues that physical media does not, but the shift has already begun – and the Xbox 360 is poised to be at the center of the revolution.

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SHoTTa35 said,
I thought Comcast had over 100million? Dunno where i got that number from but 23million seems low i guess. Even my local cable company has about 3-5million and that's just 3 states (technically - only parts of 3 states really - NJ, NYC, CT)

100 million? wow... there are FCC rules in place to keep them from ever getting that big, they are currently at 35 million

and who is your local cable company? Here is the current video cable company stats (video only) http://www.ncta.com/Stats/TopMSOs.aspx

If they could find a way for me to see all my local sports and all the major news channels... I'd gladly drop Time Warner.

With the above, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Zune, ESPN 3 and Last.fm.. there would be no need for a cable company. Of course, that's when they'd make my internet access super expensive. :-(

I still don't understand why they are increasing the price of live. They are making so much on all those micro transactions.

Deihmos said,
I still don't understand why they are increasing the price of live. They are making so much on all those micro transactions.

Because they expanded it to new contries, or are going to soon, and overall costs of running things go up over time, aka, inflation does come into play. MS never changed the price of Live since it first started on the original Xbox, that's like, what? 9 or 10 years before a price hike?

Also any licensing deals they've had to make to get content on Zune or just the 360 in general comes out of it also. The thing is we don't have all the details so we have no real idea what Live costs MS to run.

still1 said,
wow good for microsoft. but i still dont get why many go with xbox sub or is it because they have no choice.

They have no choice. You wanna play online? Better pay Microsoft. Sony does it for free.

Brody McKee said,
Is this US only? Because Xbox Live is global, Comcast isn't.

Yus, it is comparing the global Xbox Live audience with the US only Comcast one for some reason.

Corris said,

Yus, it is comparing the global Xbox Live audience with the US only Comcast one for some reason.

i had the exact same problem with this article. fail to see the relevance of the comparison.

on an other note, earth is in trouble because jupiter has more moons...

Corris said,

Yus, it is comparing the global Xbox Live audience with the US only Comcast one for some reason.

Unless these numbers are IP region related, then this is wrong. I have an Xbox Live US account and I live in Brazil. And since I never came back to the US since I created this account, that's a very common example of this bad data and analysis.

Isn't the ESPN3 service in the upcoming update only available to people who originally could get it through their ISP? If so, kind of sucks, because RoadRunner definitely doesn't support it

itsthenewDC said,
Isn't the ESPN3 service in the upcoming update only available to people who originally could get it through their ISP? If so, kind of sucks, because RoadRunner definitely doesn't support it

Aye, but in RR case it's TWC, bull**** excuse that ESPN3 is video package (and not internet) therefore you have to have TWC to use it and not just RR. So only way you get ESPN3 as a RR customer is to start using TWC and make sure you have ESPN.

hmmmmm how can you compare this? 1st comcast is not in all city's, xbox live is, as long as you have broadband, who came up with this stuff?what kind of comparison is this? i would understand cablevison has more customers then comcast, but to campare a gaming system to a cable sevice provider is just eh you get my point.

dream cloud said,
Comcast still exists?

Unfortunately yes; it exists, offer horrible service and overcharge customers. But with the placet of the government cable companies created a cartel so there is only one player at my address.... and monopoly laws are resting in peace.............
Sky in Europe is years ahead of these pathetic cable companies we have here in the US.
Only cellular phone carriers are worse than cable ones.

big problem : Xbox Live requires ISP access, and also is actually provided through an agreement with the ISP (Xbox Live simply provides the interface to a service arranged between the ISP and ESPN). ESPN3 restricts access to ISPs and domains that they have arranged access with (ie. comcast.net, rr.net - etc) and there are some people who's ISPs haven't made this arrangement that won't get access through Xbox Live, or any other interface. Xbox Live is simply exposing the content the ISP has already made available here.

There is something about Zune marketplace on the Xbox that I find baffling. It is the point system. You have to purchase point to get digital content. So I looked up a particular TV show and it cost 2800 point to buy. That's like $20. For ONE season of ONE TV show. Do they remove the commercials? Who buys this stuff for that kind of money? I can tape the entire season for free and blow through the commercials with Comcast. I dont' understand who would buy this stuff for those prices. Will someone who actually does that with the Xbox please reply to this message and explain this to me? Thanks. JF

jimmyfal said,
There is something about Zune marketplace on the Xbox that I find baffling. It is the point system. You have to purchase point to get digital content. So I looked up a particular TV show and it cost 2800 point to buy. That's like $20. For ONE season of ONE TV show. Do they remove the commercials? Who buys this stuff for that kind of money? I can tape the entire season for free and blow through the commercials with Comcast. I dont' understand who would buy this stuff for those prices. Will someone who actually does that with the Xbox please reply to this message and explain this to me? Thanks. JF

It is like going to the store and buying the DVD or BluRay of the TV show series or Movie (often with the extras on the BluRay and DVDs as well.) It is NOT like Hulu that is a low quality version of the show with commericials.

So in this regard, you would be buying the TV Series at Walmart for $29 or $39, and the online option is cheaper, and instant, and you don't have to store any of the discs, as you can watch them from any XBox you sign into or any computer you sign into.

Renting is often a buck more expensive than a Video store (if you can find one), but again is instant, and if you have the bandwidth, streams 1080p instantly. So if at 3am you decide you want to rent a new movie, you don't have to leave your sofa.

You choices are also more granual, as you can buy or rent one episode of a TV show.

this has to be the stupidest comparision out there...

XBOX live subscribers - 25 million

Comcast as an ISP - 14.7 Million

Comcast as a cable company - 23.212 million

Comcast as a whole (Cable, ISP, and Phone) 35 Million

so none of the numbers make sense as an ISP comcast is small compared to Xbox, compared to cable (why compare a game service to cable?) yes they are now bigger, but in the whole market comcast services, no they are still not even close to the 35 million mark

neufuse said,
this has to be the stupidest comparision out there...

XBOX live subscribers - 25 million

Comcast as an ISP - 14.7 Million

Comcast as a cable company - 23.212 million

Comcast as a whole (Cable, ISP, and Phone) 35 Million

so none of the numbers make sense as an ISP comcast is small compared to Xbox, compared to cable (why compare a game service to cable?) yes they are now bigger, but in the whole market comcast services, no they are still not even close to the 35 million mark

To be honest your number don't add up either.

A majority of those with Comcast as their ISP also have them for their cable TV. So you can't just add to the 2 figures together to come up with the total.

Matrix Phreak said,

To be honest your number don't add up either.

A majority of those with Comcast as their ISP also have them for their cable TV. So you can't just add to the 2 figures together to come up with the total.

Don't tell me they dont add up I didn't make them up, thats what comcast reported as their customer numbers to investors.... and who "just added those numbers up"? One number is the number of people that subscribe to cable, one is people that subscribe to internet, and the final is the total number of customers that are either Internet, video or phone as a total... you can have any or all of them... and 35 million is their total for any combination of them

neufuse said,

Don't tell me they dont add up I didn't make them up, thats what comcast reported as their customer numbers to investors.... and who "just added those numbers up"? One number is the number of people that subscribe to cable, one is people that subscribe to internet, and the final is the total number of customers that are either Internet, video or phone as a total... you can have any or all of them... and 35 million is their total for any combination of them

Well then let's at least get it accurate. Here's the actual numbers that Comcast put out for Q3Y10:
Video Customers: 22,937,000
HSI Customers: 16,696,000
Voice Customers: 8,353,000
Combined Total: 47,987,000

That's what I call creative accounting. First the combined total doesn't match the numbers provided when you add them. It's off by 1000.

Second they are treating each line as if it were a separate customer.

If even half of those HSI customers also has TV that drops the figure by over 8,000,000 users.


Now do you see what I'm saying? It's a very non-creative and transparent way of fudging the numbers to sound good if they gloss over it quickly in a meeting.

The fact is that many of these customers have more than just 1 of the services, so the final tally is off by millions.

It's nothing new. Cooking the books is the second oldest profession.

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