Half Of Xbox Live's Users Aren't Paying Subscribers

It's easy to assume that most people who connect their Xbox 360 consoles to the internet have an Xbox Live Gold subscription. But nope. Turns out a lot of you don't.

"Of our 25 million members, about half of them are subscribers to the business and pay us about $US60 a year for that," Microsoft's Dennis Durkin said earlier today at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference in Phoenix. "So it's a very large business for us and for our partners."

He's beating the revenue drum there, but surely Microsoft would be quietly disappointed that only half the console's online userbase is coughing up $US60 a year for an Xbox Live Gold subscription when it's been marketed as one of the real cornerstones of the Xbox 360.

Interestingly, as important as those subscription fees would seem to Xbox Live's bottom line, they're actually not the service's big breadwinner. That honour instead goes to digital content, with combined sales of downloadable content, avatar gear and media bringing in more money for Microsoft than millions of people paying $US60 a year.

Half of Xbox Live Members are Gold Subscribers [IGN]


    I'm one of those choosing not to pay for Gold. It just isn't worth it to me, and I don't think there is anything that could make it worth it to me at that price.

    I have accounts on my Xbox that belong to no one. Since they're no one's personal accounts, they don't need a gold sub they don't use.

      I hadn't actually considered that xbox owners would need to pay PER PROFILE. That makes it even worse than what I thought it was.

    Why would you pay for something thats free everywhere else?

    I have no interest in playing my 360 online. Don't think there's anything I'd really get out of it.

    lol @ the comments here. You all miss out on multiplayer gaming? Are you kidding? You all play Black ops and Halo (judging by sales numbers) yet you don't play the online multiplayer?

    Xbox Live Gold seems expensive in comparison to "free" but the service in comparison to all other "free" services is so much better. Deal of the week deals and early demo access make gold pretty great too, but missing out on Xbox Live gaming is quite sad if you can afford it...if you can't afford it I understand...but if you can then it IS worth the money trust me.

    The multiplayer extends the life of some games (like Reach and COD) so much that it literally makes the value of the game so much higher. Single player modes are honestl second-fiddle to online multiplayer with alot of the games that you purchase these days and if you want to play don't deny yourself because it costs $80 AUD a year.

    Especially when most of you would pay over 80 a month on internet as well as other stuff like pay tv...and that's just one month.

      lol @ your assumptions. i have an xbox360, i don't play halo, or cod, my multiplayer games reside on my Ps3, and PC, both of which have free internet gaming services. I'm sure M$ really enjoys free advertisement though!

        that is if your not one of the 10-12 million people playing world of warcraft, at $15AUD a month for 1 game, well you do the math.

        For XBL at $80AUD it's $6.66 per month to play any 360 game, access to party chat and premium services/discounts. I can afford 21c a day therefore prefer a superior streamlined service to a free basic online service.

        If you're one of the other half which does not frequent online then that's fine there's no need. But i do wonder how many ppl actively play ps3 online or just have an account active because it's free. Pay to play online works, it's successful. Pay to have a select amount of content and continue to pay in order to play/view selected content? I'm looking at you PSN Plus.

      lol indeed.

      I have been playing FPS online games for over 10 years; and never had to pay for the simple privilege of being able to connect to a server.

      Oh, and having good internets, means I do not need pay TV.

      "You all miss out on multiplayer gaming? Are you kidding? You all play Black ops and Halo (judging by sales numbers) yet you don’t play the online multiplayer?"

      Yeah we all miss out on the teamkilling, spawncamping, noobstomping, trashtalking, teabagging hilarity. Such a shame...

      Hell I've GOT gold and I don't play FPS' online because they're invariably filled with people who would be politely described as twats

      Yep Free guy, no black ops or halo, no gears of war.

      When I had a free month I did play a fair bit of Street Fighter though.

      Im into RPGs (No MMOs) and Adventure games.

    I happily pay for the service, as do the thousands of people I play Reach with on a moderately regular service.

    I've got a PS3 as well (two actually, got a slim free with my fridge) and I play online with both. It's pretty clear what I get for my $60 a year on Live when comparing the two services and for me personally it's worth the money.

    Maybe it's just because I live in Australia but it seems very few people are on the PSN versus Live. It takes forever to find Uncharted 2 MP games, and i've only managed to play a game with two other people after a considerable time searching for matches on RDR. The only PS3 game that had a reasonable player base i could find was Killzone 2. With Live I can find games for most titles (except Shadowrun, damnit) pretty quick.

      Sorry the first line should read "...on a moderately regular *basis". not service.

      Mine english is good very.

    I don't, and never have, paid for a Gold LIVE subscription. I've had some time with free gold accounts for a couple months, etc., and I really don't understand what all the fuss is.
    The main drawcard of LIVE is playing multiplayer with other people, right? What exactly is Microsoft supplying for your 60 dollars? They don't host servers, that's for sure. The host machine of any LIVE game is "some guy's xbox", which means one player has a massive advantage of 0 ping, while everyone else struggles. It's even worse if that one guy is limited to 128kbps upload, or something small, but never realises why everyone else bitches about lag.

    In order for me to justify paying that money, I'd want the money to go towards dedicated servers spaced geographically close enough that I can get a decent ping while playing my games.
    At the moment, all microsoft does for your 60 bucks a year is change the "CanConnectToMultiplayerGames" value to 1 instead of 0.

    If Gold allows you to play online, then why do games (on release and a long while thereafter) remain the same price as ps3 games? Seems quite absurd that you buy a game with the same contents as another platform, and have to pay extra to be able to access multiplayer component?

    And frankly i'm annoyed with the argument for paying online for a "quality" service for the 360 because it seems to me no different at all to what the pc or ps3 can do. This scheme developed by Ms, just seems a transferral model of their Office programs on the PC, where many people need it, but need to fork out over $100 on top of the OS (and system) just to be able to use it

    I really think people should stop whinging about it for the fact that MS are gonna keep charging cause its so successful. Not only that MORE people buy 360 games as opposed to PS3 when it comes to a lot of FPS and online multiplayer games. And this could most likely be attributed to the fact that it's a better online service.

    You either;

    A) Pay for it and either take advantage of playing online or not
    B) Don't pay it and well, STFU!

    I don't mind paying cause well, I can afford $50 - I'm not trying to shout out I can afford anything but I 'don't mind paying it' cause I use it. Different if I didn't. It annoys me when people also whinge about $100 when its as simple as buying online for $50 and using a code through email rather than a card you're gonna chuck out anyway.

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