Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Deals, Funding & Acquisitions, Internet Video Producers, Microsoft, News, TV Gadgets & Equipment, Xbox 360 IPTV by Dave Parrack on March 31, 2008

Xbox Live Gets Original ProgrammingXbox 360 owners already have access to some full length movies and television shows via Xbox Live, but now a deal has been done which will see original programming being launched on the service.

Xbox Live is Microsoft’s Web platform, exclusively available to Xbox 360 owners. Of the 18 million people who own the current generation console, 10 million have signed up for the service.

The service currently offers various different for sale, either by use of a credit card or redeeming points for participating in various Xbox Live activities.

Many games, including user created ones are available, as well as films like Saw and The Departed, and full episodes of TV shows such as South Park.

Original Programming On Way

Now, from a deal struck between Microsoft and Hollywood producer and talent agent Peter Safran, original programming will now also be heading on to Xbox Live.

According to The New York Times, Safran will be producing a series of programmes, across a range of genres for distribution via Xbox Live.

The shows are expected to run at about ten minutes long each, and are likely to include appearances from celebrities under his management, including Sean Combs, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, and Brooke Shields.

All of the shows are expected to appeal to the core Xbox 360 user group of males aged between 14 and 34, and the first run will be available from Autumn of this year.

A New Market

Safran commented on the deal by saying:

“The Xbox is unique. It operates at a level outside of what we generally consider Web entertainment,”

The new shows will first be available through Xbox Live before possibly appearing elsewhere. This is likely to depend on how successful, or otherwise, they are.

Conclusions

This is certainly an interesting development, because it adds another string to the Xbox 360’s bow, and makes Xbox Live a venue for original programming, rather than just an outlet for distributing other content.

Microsoft are clearly trying to make the Xbox 360 an all encompassing entertainment hub, and they realise that original programming will have to figure somewhere in order to make that a reality.

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