Hardware numbers are important for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), but the company’s excitement over Xbox Live was evident during the latest earnings report. The tech firm was happy to announce that the number of subscribers to the service reached a record 48 million.
According to the earnings report, the company now has 48 million active users revealing a 30% growth year over year. It is not clear how Microsoft identifies the active subscriptions but what is evident is the fact that the company’s gaming division has been performing well and seems to be improving.
Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Turner stated that the good numbers were particularly driven up by Xbox and Surface during the holiday season. He admitted that Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE) had been outselling Microsoft by big margins with the PlayStation. Nonetheless, customers are still purchasing the Xbox One and its games.
That Xbox Live has been successful is evident by the growing numbers. Microsoft recorded 37 million active subscribers in summer of 2015. The number has since grown by 11 million and Microsoft hopes that the trend will continue.
A monthly subscription on Xbox Live costs between $5 and $10 based on which package the subscriber prefers. 48 million subscribers translates into a minimum of $2.88 billion for the whole of 2016. That is very impressive for a service that was initially intended as a side service from the main revenue generators for Xbox. Microsoft attributes the success of Xbox Live to the variety of content available, especially the release of major titles such as Halo 5.
Xbox One hopes to maintain this level of success with the release of more exclusive content to keep users interested while attracting more subscriptions in the current year. It hasn’t caught up to Sony, but it is gearing up for a competitive comeback in the coming years.