Microsoft may be taking a step back from content streaming after announcing that it is shutting down Xbox Entertainment Studios. Its partners are picking up the slack, however.
Nearly a month after making its debut on Wall Street, San Mateo, Calif.-based GoPro announced the availability of its namesake app for the Xbox One. Dubbed the GoPro Channel, the app streams videos captured by the company's compact wearable cameras.
GoPro is the maker of a line of high-definition cameras that are often used to shoot point-of-view videos that have a knack for going viral, particularly among thrill seekers. The device's compact dimensions and low weight, along with a healthy selection of accessories including a waterproof case, allow users to subject the cameras to conditions that would otherwise spell a quick end to conventional video cameras or smartphone cameras.
A quick search of 'GoPro' on YouTube results in no shortage of videos captured with the company's cameras, including Felix Baumgartner's "space jump" in 2012. The video has racked up more than 16 million views. GoPro's own YouTube channel has more than 2 million followers. Other videos, ranging from pet tricks to high-speed car races, routinely attract hundreds of thousands of viewers.
GoPro went public on June 26 at a price of $24 per share. As of this writing, shares in the company are trading at $41.74, after hitting a high of $49.90 on July 1.
After making its mark on YouTube and Wall Street, the company is now turning its attention to Xbox One owners. "The GoPro Channel allows Xbox Live members worldwide to stream GoPro content on-demand, share favorite videos, and purchase cameras and accessories directly through the Xbox One console," said the company in a statement.
Xbox 360 users have had access to the app since April, according to the company. "More than half a million Xbox 360 users worldwide have already downloaded the GoPro Channel and are watching an average of 18 minutes of GoPro videos each session," stated GoPro.
"User-generated content is huge on Xbox," said the Xbox Wire team in a blog post. Microsoft expects such content "to continue to grow as GoPro joins other popular apps like YouTube and Twitch."
Microsoft also plays a role in helping to boost GoPro's content strategy. "The Xbox-GoPro relationship helps support GoPro's initiative to grow content distribution and expand community reach worldwide," said the blog post.
The GoPro Channel app arrives at a favorable time. Microsoft is currently readying an Xbox One update that improves on the console's social features, including enhanced activity feeds and improved content-sharing capabilities. "You can share game clips and anything else in the feed with friends either publicly (to your activity feed) or privately (as an attachment to a message)," teased Larry Hryb (a.k.a. Major Nelson), Xbox Live director of programming.