INTERVIEW – Robin Burrowes

Ten million. It’s not a figure to be sniffed at.

Indeed, it’s near-impossible to think of many things that, if you owned ten million of them, you wouldn’t consider ‘enough’. Naked pictures of Lindsey Lohan, perhaps. But that’s about it.

Xbox Live’s ten million subscribers still haven’t sated Microsoft’s desire to grow its audience, however. And in 2008, the multimedia giant looks set to give the service a bigger push than ever.

Now that it’s pretty much wrapped up the online hardcore gamer market, the format holder want mums and dads to sign up to Live – and is going all out to attract them with a family-friendly content assault.

For starters, the firm signed a new deal to host Paramount movies on its Xbox Live Video Store this month – joining download-to-rent content from Warner Bros.

Xbox Live UK marketing manager Robin Burrowes believes that signing up film distributors will widen Live’s audience like never before.

It’s clear we’re embarking on a journey right now with Xbox Live,” he says. We’ve reached significant milestones in terms of audience base and content. We see Video Store as a unique benefit you get from buying Xbox 360 – and only Xbox 360.”

Burrowes has good reason to be confident. Microsoft has seen a huge uptake in Xbox Live subscriptions since it launched Video Store in the US 15 months ago – and is expecting a similar rise in uptake on these shores.

The advent of video store is a competitive advantage from a PR standpoint, alongside the range of games on our platform,” adds Burrowes. In two months since the launch of Video Store in the UK, our audience figures have grown dramatically – and we’re expecting that to grow even more.”

The next phase of Xbox Live is all about continuing to extend content opportunities through the right partners, and driving content that recognises the bulk of our audience is consuming its content in the living room.”

The initial roster of Paramount titles available on the service includes such blockbusters as Transformers and John Cusack vehicle 1408, which join forces with Warner Bros smashes including 300 and the Harry Potter films.

We’re cherry picking the key library content from our movie partners we think is right, which we can always add to in the future,” says Burrowes. When we are looking at the landscape of 2008, there’s no other platform where someone can play Halo 3, GTA IV and Rock Band and download new HD Movies from Paramount, Warner and – in time – other major distributors.

Also, you can download over 100 games and we’re launching more music videos from more partners. It all gives us a range that’s exceptionally healthy. We already know our audience is responding to high definition content – and that more and more people are becoming comfortable with that.”

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