The Xbox 360 game console's Xbox Live service already has a lot of sponsored "content"; things like free gamer pics for upcoming movies, contests and more. Now it looks like Xbox Live is going to get even more commercials. Microsoft announced this week that more of its media app partners such as ESPN, Last.fm and MUZU.TV will begin to run 15 and 30 second video ads in their content.
Those new partners will join other Xbox Live media apps such as AlloCine, Crackle, Halo Waypoint, MSNBC, TMZ, NBC TODAY and UFC, all of which already run such TV commercial-like videos in their Xbox Live video programming. Microsoft said that entertainment app use on Xbox Live has doubled every year and that ad spending on the service has increased by 142 percent since 2010.
It's also possible that 2012 will see paid political ads for the first time on Xbox Live. In a video interview with Beet.tv, Ross Honey, the general manager of Microsoft's Xbox Live Entertainment and Advertising division, confirmed, " ... we're talking with the campaigns about bringing their advertising message to Xbox." He did not specify which of the political campaigns was interested in running ads on Xbox Live.
Microsoft's press release this week also announced that gaming media outlet GameSpot would be launching its own Xbox Live media app in the near future, supported by video advertisements. Also coming soon is Manga Entertainment, which will offer free anime TV episodes and movies to Xbox Live subscribers.