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Xbox 360 Dashboard Adverts Coming?


Xbox 360 Dashboard Adverts Coming?

Microsoft may be planning to bring 'real' adverts to the Xbox 360 dashboard within the next year. I don't think any of us need to be brain surgeons or rocket scientists to see this has the potential to go horribly wrong.

According to MediaPost Microsoft "plans to bring IAB {Interactive Advertising Bureau} specifications for rich media technologies, including Silverlight, to Xbox Live within the year." The intention, says Sean Alexander, Microsoft's Advertising Business Group director, is to make it simpler for advertisers to run campaigns across multiple platforms, suggesting that that advertising on the Xbox 360 will be offered alongside Web, TV, mobile phone and Surface - the other four platforms Microsoft plans to span. According to Alexander, "We are just starting to scratch the surface of what's possible."

Microsoft says that by offering Silverlight across a wide range of platforms advertisers will be able to spend more time working on creating quality creative and less time repurposing that content to suit its intended point of display. Which sounds pretty plausible, I suppose.

The main issue here is where those adverts will be displayed on the Xbox 360. There's certainly space on the dashboard for ad placements. However, the display of any adverts will presumably have to be limited to Silver Live accounts - I can't see anyone paying for their access to the full-fat Live experience being too happy about seeing ads on their screen; especially when the neither rival platform charges for a similar level of access ad-free.

Update: Microsoft responds.



Image courtesy Kotaku.


July 1, 2009, 4:03 pm

if it stops the £40 a year for xbox live then ok but if we still have to pay then no way


July 1, 2009, 4:05 pm

I honestly don't mind adverts. I'm completely used to them by now. Every site you visit online has them, every shop you walk into has them, all sports venues have them and the majority of TV has them. The only ones I find annoying are pop ups online but pop up blockers solve that issue.

Providing the ads don't get in my way on the dash (like having to scroll through them to get to the menu I want) then I'm fine with it.

Plus, if the ads are useful they might even benefit me (offers for buying a cheap 360 game from a shop would be ideal).


July 1, 2009, 5:01 pm

IMO if you pay you shouldn't get adverts, like gamespot does for example.


July 1, 2009, 5:14 pm

Biggest issue for me is the idea that the 360 wastes time downloading ads at all - IF that impacts on the overall snappiness of the DashBoard experience.

Also, when you've queued up some downloads in the background, most users wouldn't want advertising downloads interfering with the rate at which their demos / videos / TV content download.

I am sure MS will give this some thought - they seem to be getting better at the PR game of late (hands up all those that are enjoying the Windows 7 release candidate ;-> )


July 1, 2009, 5:18 pm

Imagine having ad's like that clog up your premium themed dash. Kick in the nuts, and also very very ugly.


July 1, 2009, 5:46 pm

For silver members adverts are ok as they don't pay for the service but Gold members should not have them.

If your a silver member you cant play xbox live games only update gamer score so I suspect the majority of silver members are not connected anyway so would be a bit of a waste of time sending them adverts....with that in mind I have a feeling adverts will be for Gold Members :(

£40 subscription is too much per year..what do we get for £40 anyway..? the ability to play online..people on PC & PS3 get this for free!


July 1, 2009, 7:48 pm

does anyone actually pay £40 for live? you can easily find it for £25 to £30 with a quick search. yes i'd rather not pay but it'd easily worth the money.

but as has been said already, they'll be taking the mickey if the ads show up on gold accounts. hopefully the ad money may even go back into improving the service and reliability. wishful thinking?


July 1, 2009, 10:01 pm

Ahh, but, plenty of people pay $ky for the privilege of watching adverts.


July 1, 2009, 11:33 pm

@ravmania : agreed, eBay is normally my preference for that - now, IMO, for Gold Members, we should'nt have to put up with useless crappy eye candy ads - afterall, we pay the BBC licence fee, hence no ads. Its enough we put up with ads on tv in the 1st place. I guess its all down to broadcasting laws/legality regulations on who can do what...


July 2, 2009, 12:48 am

I want McDonalds to bring me a Big Mac when I complete an achievement. Now that'd be cool.


July 2, 2009, 4:43 am

Ironic that TR is itself sustained by ads.

Cable TV? Ads.

Take the bus or subway? Ads.

Ads are an unfortunate necessity in the reality of doing business these days, and if (big emphasis IF) done tastefully, can be a positive to users and corporations alike.

My beef with Live! is the annual subscription fee, since I grew up with free online play, I never saw the appeal of having to pay anyone extra to play the game I'd already legally bought online. It's the principle of the thing.

If Live! were to become fully ad-revenue supported, I might consider jumping on their platform (and MS would probably make a mint from selling me a boat-load of Arcade games that way).


July 5, 2009, 1:22 am

I would probably buy an xbox if they had free, ad-supported gold membership. I will never buy a subscription as I feel every moment I'm not playing it I'm wasting money.

Nick Hustak

July 5, 2009, 7:24 pm

Soooo Joe, I guess you don't have cable or DirecTv or Skye then? Are you saying you have no subscriptions to anything you can have in use 100% of the time? Just curious what makes you single out this particular subscription as opposed to any of the others you are most likely paying? For instance, your internet connection.....

That said, I absolutley will not continue my gold subscription if ads start popping up in it.

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