Microsoft on Xbox One's advertising potential

[UPDATE] Marketing executive Yusuf Mehdi hints at opportunity for Microsoft to provide Xbox data to marketers; Microsoft provides comment, says "You are fully in control of your personal data."


[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb provided a statement on the matter through Twitter.

"FYI: We are seeking a correction to the Ad Age story that quotes Yusuf," he wrote. "Tl;dr We do not collect information to share or sell. You are fully in control of your personal data. Your privacy is important to us."

The original story is below.

One of Microsoft's Xbox marketing leaders Yusuf Mehdi has opened up on the advertising potential for the soon-to-be-released Xbox One console. Speaking during the recent Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference, as reported by AdAge, Mehdi hinted at the possibility of making Xbox data available to advertisers.

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"We are trying to bridge some of the world between online and offline," he said. "That's a little bit of a holy grail in terms of how you understand the consumer in that 360 degrees of their life."

"We have a pretty unique position at Microsoft because of what we do with digital, as well as more and more with television because of Xbox," he added. "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."

Through its Kinect camera, the Xbox One will have a window into players' living rooms. This opens up a "huge new trove of data" about how people are interacting with TV ads, according to one marketer who spoke under the condition of anonymity.

"It could have a big impact on [advertising pricing]," he said, given the Xbox One's ability to determine if people are paying attention to advertisements or how their bodies respond to promotional material.

Last week, Xbox director of product planning Albert Penello said this kind of biometric data does not leave the local Xbox One console unless people allow it to and that Kinect was not designed with advertising in mind. Still, the advertising potential for Xbox One, should consumers allow this data to be shared, would be unprecedented, AdAge writes.

"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."

The Xbox One launches on November 22 for $500.

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