Microsoft’s recent content deals with cable network-based on-demand services for its Xbox 360 have thrust video-game consoles onto the TV-content distribution field in a big way.
Xbox, which inked content deals with HBO Go, Epix, Bravo and Syfy, as well as Comcast’s Xfinity TV and Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV, joins Sony’s PlayStation 3, which offers live Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and National Football League game packages, in hoping to become as synonymous with Boardwalk Empire as it is with Madden ’12.
Initially, the biggest audience for the bulked-up video-game offerings will be young, multicultural viewers. That audience overindexes in video-game console purchases, and is more apt to use such devices to watch video than mainstream consumers, per two new multicultural media surveys.
About 32% of Asian, 32% of Hispanic and 28% of African-American broadband users have at least one gaming device in the home, compared to 22% of their white counterparts, according to a recent Horowitz Associates Multiplatform Content and Services survey.
Hispanics, in particular, are prone to using their portable players for more than just play. While 87% of Hispanics play video games on the Xbox or PlayStation 3, CTAM’s Tracking How Entertainment, Demographics and Technology Have Changed in the U.S. report noted that 63% of Hispanics also use their consoles to watch movies, 54% to view sitcoms and 41% to watch live or on-demand sports.
Overall, more than 60% of Asian, African American and Hispanic consumers have devices or software that streams Internet-delivered video content to their television sets — whether it’s an Xbox,a PlayStation 3, a Roku streaming device or a service like Netflix — compared to 53% of white broadband users.
Companies looking to deliver programming content via nontraditional platforms should not ignore multicultural consumers, who are already highly engaged and early adopters of emerging video distribution platforms.