VivaKi strikes exclusive ad deal for Xbox entertainment apps

Hulu, as it will appear on Xbox US
Hulu, as it will appear on Xbox US

Microsoft has struck an exclusive deal with VivaKi to offer Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia clients pre-roll advertising inventory within entertainment apps on its gaming and entertainment platform Xbox Live.

Samsung, EMI, Emirates, Honda and O2 are among the first advertisers in the UK to run ads on the new entertainment apps, which first became available yesterday (6 December).

In the UK Xbox users can access an app for LoveFilm, and Xbox will be adding further apps from a range of TV, movie, video, sports, music and news brands, including YouTube, Channel 4 and MSN, later this month, with the BBC set to join in 2012.

VivaKi's exclusive arrangement runs until March next year.

The rollout of entertainment apps on the online platform Xbox Live is part of the brand’s play to move beyond gaming into entertainment and interactive TV.

It claims to have a network of 35 million users globally, while Ipsos Mori research indicates that 18% of UK households owned an Xbox 360 as of July this year.

Xbox users with the Kinect controller will be able to interact with the content and entertainment on the apps, using voice and gestures.

Dean Carignan, senior director Xbox Live Advertising, EMEA, said: "The new Xbox Live experience brings extended possibilities for marketers, placing TV advertising within an interactive entertainment context and helping them to engage a large and growing audience where they are spending their time."

Xbox is poised to roll out a product placement on Sky1 HD later this month, which will see its Kinect games console used as an in-game challenge on sports quiz 'A League of their Own'.

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