Microsoft launches unique subscription plan for Xbox

Microsoft launches unique subscription plan for Xbox ​It looks like the rumours about Microsoft’s impending subscription service were true after all! The company has launched an all-access plan which will give subscribers access to the Xbox hardware without paying for it upfront. Keep reading for more details on our lead story in this week’s subscription roundup. Next up, Facebook is raising its game against YouTube by launching Facebook Watch worldwide. Lastly, we look at Amazon’s plans to counter rivals in the entertainment space.



Microsoft lowers barriers for gaming through its new Xbox subscription plan

Tech giant Microsoft has just launched an ‘Xbox All Access’ subscription program which will give gamers access to the latest Xbox hardware and games without paying for the hardware upfront. The high cost of the gaming consoles is now one of the biggest impediments for gaming enthusiasts. With Xbox All Access, subscribers will get access to the Xbox One S console along with two years of Xbox Live Gold service and Xbox Game Pass for a starting price of just $22 per month for 24 months. There is also a slightly higher plan which will give subscribers the more advanced Xbox One X system. Users will own the console at the end of 24 months.
 
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Facebook Watch launches globally

Facebook Watch, the social media giant’s rival to YouTube, will now be available worldwide, a year after its launch in the US. Users will be able to access content from both established brands and new content creators, and creators can also monetise their content through ads, provided they meet certain benchmarks. Facebook will give 55% of the revenue to creators and keep 45% for itself. It will be interesting to see if Facebook introduces subscription-based monetisation options for Facebook Watch in the future. Incidentally, Facebook-owned Instagram also launched its IGTV app recently which is more focused on mobile videos.
 
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Amazon ramping up its entertainment presence

It is no secret that Jeff Bezos has been betting big on the media and entertainment space; Amazon will be spending a total of $4.5 billion on programming alone this year. In addition, the company is already in talks with two smaller studios for streaming deals and is working on an ad-supported streaming app and DVR service. The company is also revamping its Twitch live streaming site to show ads to subscribers. While outcompeting rivals may be one of its goals, it is clear that Amazon has grand ambitions for the entertainment space.
 
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Also read: China – the hottest new market for subscriptions?


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