Microsoft’s Xbox, it’s flagship gaming product, is going to incorporate the Xbox with Spaces (Microsoft’s blogging platform) and then allow bloggers to monetize the blogs with Kanoodle. Kanoodle is a pay per click service that serves contextual ads.
This deal could allow Xbox users to post directly to a blog, keep track of high scores, cheats, tips, and anything else related to gaming (or just their life in general as many blogs are very similar to diaries), and make money from the ads. Most likely it would be a revenue sharing deal with Microsoft. MS will handle the ad serving, the gamers write the content, they split the ad revenue.
A combination of gamers, blogging, and PPC ads could bring in the best of many worlds for Microsoft. It brings an elusive demographic into a centralized ad serving environment. It has the gamers creating the content, thus allows Microsoft to expand its content base with other people’s writings. To ‘pay’ these writers, it splits the profits with them.
How one will post to Spaces, opt in to the impossible-to-find-Xbox blogging platform, have ad control, and all the small details have yet to be released.
While this seems like small news, it’s a huge step in what I think is Microsoft’s real goal: To control the living room. To date, the Xbox has allowed one to organize music and some other features, but hasn’t had any major internet capabilities outside of the gaming concept. Bringing in blogging support with the help of xbox and allowing gamers to share their gaming excitement and make money at the same time seems to be a smart move.
Roughly half of the US income is disposable; meaning it is spent on items besides the standard bills & rent. The leading portion of this disposable income is spent on entertainment: anything from iPods to game to DVDs to flat panel TVs, etc. We are an entertainment driven culture.
In the past, control of the living room has been in the hands of the major TV, stereo, and gaming console creators. Microsoft threw its hat into this lucrative market with the media PC and Xbox.
By combining the living room, the internet, and the associated entertainment into a single environment, it seems Microsoft has hopes of further controlling this disposable income. The last offering to really try to combine the living room with the internet was WebTV. WebTV didn’t have a lot of success, but did teach others some good lessons on combining these various aspects.
It has yet to be seen how Microsoft will combine all of these aspects in a central environment with the Xbox and Spaces. However, the concept is brilliant. The execution and adoption of users will be the ultimate decider of how well the play is executed.