The Xbox 360 will be a game-changing device in the Connected TV market now that Microsoft has decided to transform it from a games console into a general entertainment hub. That is the view of Christian Bombrun, Deputy General Manager, Web, at M6, the French broadcaster that last December became the first free French channel to be available via a games console. â€œThe difference between the Xbox and connected TVs is that this device is very well connected. Most people that buy a connected TV do not even know they are getting one and they do not plug it into the Internet,â€ he argues. â€œXbox 360 users have already connected the device to enhance the gaming experience.â€
Bombrun gives two other reasons why he thinks the Xbox 360 is so compelling: the fact the platform can be upgraded and the Kinect controller, which supports voice and gesture-based commands. â€œIt is a great platform for delivering content,â€ he says.
The M6 app on Xbox includes the M6 Replay free catch-up service, which makes Groupe M6 content available for seven days after broadcast. It also includes the Pass M6 SVOD service, which provides non-linear viewing beyond the seven day window and also gives access to hit U.S. shows one day after they were aired in America. Bombrun says the app has been very popular (users have to download it). Usage is growing but remains small compared to â€˜traditionalâ€™ IPTV services, through distribution partners like Free and SFR, which account for the vast majority of Groupe M6 non-linear content that is viewed on television screens.