Sunday, March 12, 2006

Microsoft, Xbox and Online Ads

Reuters reports that Microsoft is trying to get more serious about online advertising. Coming from the ad world myself, I think it's about time. They were way behind the game with search, even now, they're trying to push MSN search but I doubt it'll get any traction.

The silver lining is in games and according to the article. "Microsoft envisions adCenter to one day be a one-stop shop for advertisers to gather information then buy ads on search results, Microsoft-related sites and services, non-Microsoft sites, mobile phone software or even online Xbox video games."

Catch that last part? If Xbox Live starts becoming ad supported, that would be interesting. I'm guessing, at best, it would offset subscription costs to Live. Maybe no one has to pay to play online anymore. Would they go so far as to offer games for free? Somehow, that's tougher for me to believe or maybe I'm just scared that they'll move in on our strategy before we find our own footing.

I just hope they do it right and don't scare everyone off the ad-supported game model before it has a chance to prove itself. Crossing my fingers.

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