A few weeks back we all heard that Microsoft had acquired Massive Inc., a company focused on the nacent in-game advertising market. Despite some rough starts, there’s clearly a great deal of promise to this area for marketers, reaching the valued 18-34 male demo as they find a new home away from broadcast television. The news from the weekend indicates that the first deployment of this tech for MSFT will be inside the XBox Live service.
“Advertisers are having a tough time connecting with the elusive 18- to 34-year-old male demographic because this group continues to spend less time watching TV and more time playing video games,” said Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president of Global Sales and Marketing and chief media revenue officer at Microsoft. “Massive and Microsoft can help lead with our shared vision of delivering more targeted, measurable and effective opportunities for advertisers to reach today’s youth audience in a largely untapped market.” (From the press release)
Now, speaking as a consumer, I’m already paying something on the order of $50 a year for the priveledge of enabling the online features of all the $60 game titles I’ve purchased for the 360, and the thought that this experience is now going to be plastered with ads pimping that new soda I don’t give a %^#@ about is kind of annoying. Will we see a price drop in the sub fee? Will the Xbox community react positively to this ‘enhancement.’ I’m not holding my breath…but I do know that the makers of the new consoles on the horizon (Wii and the PS3) will watch closely.