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Are we going to be able to play xCloud “for free” in exchange for ads, like Netflix?

Tim Stuart, Xbox's CFO, believes that a free ad-supported model could work in countries where Xbox Game Pass doesn't perform well.

Are we going to be able to play xCloud “for free” in exchange for ads, like Netflix?
Nacho Requena Molina

Nacho Requena Molina

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A few months ago, Netflix surprised us all with a very cheap subscription model that came with a catch: you had to watch a few ads from time to time to view the content. Far from becoming a failure, it seems that this model is pleasing people, as, if anything, we’re used to swallowing ads on television. But would we do the same with Xbox’s xCloud?

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Tim Stuart, Xbox’s CFO, recently commented at the Wells Fargo TMT Summit that a cloud-based model of this sort isn’t far-fetched. In fact, he believes introducing this variant could be a way to reach new markets by offering free streaming in exchange for ads.

“For markets like Africa, India, or Southeast Asia, places where the console isn’t as relevant, it might be like, ‘Hey, do you want to watch 30 seconds of ads for two hours of game streaming?‘” Stuart emphasizes at this event, continuing with the example of Africa. “Half of the population in Africa is 23 years old or younger… They don’t have high incomes, so we can enter with our business model and reach millions and millions of gamers we wouldn’t have accessed otherwise.”

Definitely! Considering the success of the ad-supported model with Netflix, it’s highly plausible in Europe. It’s already proven to work well, so in the Old Continent or even in the United States, it could attract a considerable player base.

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As of now, there’s no set implementation date or even an official announcement. However, it’s evident that Microsoft sees it as a feasible option and has it on the table for consideration.

Nacho Requena Molina

Nacho Requena Molina

Journalist specialized in videogames and technology. Almost two decades dedicated to it.

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