Microsoft is attempting to inject themselves into a different kind of game: the political one. Through the use of Xbox Live, Microsoft is willing to run political advertisements moving forward, and in doing so, committing to forms of marketing that may well come with it’s risks, but certainly not without it’s financial rewards.
The plan is simple: MS wants political parties to pay for advertisements, that would appear across every Xbox console in the US. Mirosoft’s reent entanglement shouldn’t ome as a complete surprise, as they have done similar things in the past. In 2012 during the elections, Microsoft launched a non biased political Election Hub for users to interact with. The hub broadcasted prerecorded content, interactive polls and video streams to help inform Live users on the election of Obama vs Romney. The results from this must have been positive for MS in at least one major way: financial opportunities with untapped demographics.
On the one hand, these politically motivated actions on Mirosoft’s part, will give the gaming public on Live a way to positively interact with the electoral process, and provide some worth while engagement. On the other hand, we may all be being taken for a ride for the sake of money. Either way, Microsoft is not the only company seeking some power in the political advertising market. Skype, MSN and many other companies have been trying to persuade political officials to take out ads as well, as there never seems to be a shortage of funds to be found in politically related interests.
The majority of Xbox Live is not young men as most of us would try and argue, and there have been numerous polls indicating this. Many stats have suggested that 38 percent of 25 million Xbox subscribers in the United States alone are women. Of that ratio, up to forty percent are married and over half of that percentage have children as well.
These numbers are symbolic demographics that are contested in political races and could most certainly help Microsoft become a great advertising asset to political parties, given the time. With such key demographics, such as a number of minority groups and females across the board, it’s not unreasonable to think political interests will try to sway Microsoft’s advertising by any financial means possible.
Mind you, this is all just speculation, but I believe strongly that the political system is easily corruptible, and is further complicated through matters of business and finance. This ongoing interaction, of Microsoft dabbling with political advertisements, can mean one of two things: the company either cares about the people and gamers who are interested in the electoral process (not likely), or they really just are about the end result of more money, and are happy to cooperate as they get paid and stay paid.
Microsoft is a business after all, and money will always be the bottom line.
According to the Washington Post, Microsoft is going to use Xbox Live playe’ data and information to create profiles. This is going to allow politicians to target their desired demographic pertaining to someones location, gender and marital status. This greatly concerns me, and this type of behavior exacerbates my worries that privacy is no longer a concern in this country. To make matter worse, MS even handed out promotional items during the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), in an attempt of explaining how they want to encourage political parties to leverage their services to help with successful campaigns in the future.
Sounds like Microsoft is being persistent and pushing the idea of these ads vigorously, and being increasingly more transparent in doing so. Could all of this be happening because the Xbox One has not sold as successfully as the PS4 and MS is looking to help pad the financial damages? Do you think Microsoft has become desperate for more income due to recent market troubles, or is MS really just getting too greedy?
Let me know what you think in the comment section below. This just might be the beginning of long term partnership between Microsoft and politics, and one that could effect Xbox gamers in ways not yet foreseeable.
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