Xbox to add educational content and iPlayer

Sesame Street: Microsoft adds interactive content to its Xbox service
Sesame Street: Microsoft adds interactive content to its Xbox service

Microsoft's Xbox will offer the BBC iPlayer from next week and is targeting parents by adding interactive educational content for kids through partnerships with brands including Sesame Street.

According to a source, Xbox's Kinect motion sensor technology will enable the creation of half-TV style, half-gaming content, which will teach kids about subjects including reading and geography through playful learning elements. National Geographic and Disney are also content partners.

The BBC iPlayer catch-up service will become available through Xbox Live, the online service for Xbox 360, next week after the two companies resolved issues over charging for BBC content.

The BBC was announced as a media partner in October, but was set back by issues with Xbox's "freemium" model, which offers internet gaming for free but charges for premium video-on-demand content as part of the Gold membership scheme.

The licence fee-funded iPlayer will now be offered for free, while other video content such as Channel 4's catch-up service 4oD is only accessible via the premium membership scheme, costing £39.99 a year.

ITV Player is expected to join the service before the end of the year.

The increasing amount of content partnerships is enabling Xbox Live to provide an app-based system on the desktop that will bring it in line with the user interface on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft is investing significantly in partnership, content and marketing to change the Xbox proposition from a gaming console to a more holistic entertainment offering.

At the end of last year it was reported Xbox Live has 35 million global users and speculation is mounting it will launch a global movie rental system to challenge Apple and Amazon.

A Microsoft spokesperson said: "We do not comment on rumour and speculation."

Follow Matthew Chapman at @mattchapmanUK


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer