Microsoft's top marketer tossed a juicy hunk of red meat to his kind of people yesterday. While Xbox One isn't selling the stuff Kinect collects from your living room to marketers right out of the box, the capacity is there, and it could be the kind of game-changer that makes ad buyers swoon.
Let's remember that Kinect is no longer mandatory to the Xbox One's operation and neither is a periodic check-in with the Xbox servers, requirements that were walked back under a firestorm of gamer outrage. That said, many users will simply leave both utilities plugged in. And when a publication like Advertising Age — whose audience ain't exactly privacy-concerned hardcore gamers — says "Xbox One can essentially work like TV that watches you, bringing marketers a huge new trove of data," you realise why Microsoft wanted those requirements in the first place.
Mehdi, at the Association of National Advertisters' Masters of Marketing Conference, in Phoenix yesterday, said Microsoft can see whether people are paying attention to ads and evaluate how their bodies respond to them, according to a marketer who attended but asked that his name not be used in AdAge's report.
"It could have a big impact on pricing," he added. AdAge agrees: "If even a fraction of likely Xbox One users could be persuaded to share data, the technology could create the world's largest panel for measuring biometric responses to advertising."
Mehdi told the panel, according to AdAge that "it's early days, but we're starting to put that together in more of a unifying way, and hopefully at some point we can start to offer that to advertisers broadly." He called this "a holy grail in terms of how you understand the consumer in that 360 degrees of their life."
Kinect's ability to distinguish voices in a living room, notice if people are watching the screen or not, and even pick up their heart rate, is well known. Worst-case speculation had it, back in the late spring, that these capabilities could be used for things like tiered pricing in streaming movie rentals. More folks in the room, the more the movie costs.
Instead it seems like Microsoft doesn't plan on just selling eyeballs to advertisers, but their emotional reactions too. Maybe that's why they are not selling the machine without Kinect. Sounds like your extra $US100 is going toward putting an uber-Nielsen box in your living room.
Xbox One's Data Treasure Trove Could Reshape Marketing [Advertising Age]