Microsoft Hires TV Executive To Create Xbox Original Content
September 20, 2012

Microsoft Hires TV Executive To Create Xbox Original Content

John Neumann for - Your Universe Online

Microsoft´s Xbox platform is looking towards the future of entertainment and will begin creating original content, writes Nick Wingfield for the New York Times, by hiring former CBS TV executive Nancy Tellem to head up its efforts.

Tellem will oversee a Los Angeles-based production studio for the software giant, that will create both traditional “linear” programming and interactive programming that fuses video and gamelike content.

After watching Netflix invest heavily into original content, giving its video-streaming service an edge on competitors, the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft looks to beef up its consumer chops with a similar recipe.

Netflix has recently licensed new episodes of the cult comedy “Arrested Development,” and will exclusively distribute “House of Cards,” a mini-series based on a BBC political drama.

With consumers willing to pay for quality original shows that can´t be seen elsewhere, Xbox could certainly leverage its current content partners, including YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, SyFy, ESPN, and many others into persuading more people to continue with Xbox for video consumptions, rather than other stand-alone set-top boxes such as AppleTV, Roku, Google TV, etc.

Phil Spencer, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios told Bloomberg´s Cliff Edwards, “The box has really evolved into a platform for creators and consumers to find all the content they love.”

Tellem will examine Microsoft´s portfolio of games for sources of content, and also will mine Hollywood for movies, television shows and web content. “It´s all about creating compelling content,” Tellem said. “We´re opening our doors to all types of talent.”

Though the executives declined to discuss specific budgets for such content, Spencer said the company plans to make a significant commitment since “being state-of-the-art and extremely high-quality is critical to gaining consumer mind share.”

Tellem´s new position emphasizes Microsoft is serious about branching out of its traditional comfort zone by delivering movies, sports and television shows through the Xbox 360, a gaming console about to enter the seventh year since its release.