We can report that multiple sources within Microsoft have been briefed on plans to make a long-awaited change to the Xbox Live Gold paywall for streaming media services. According to our sources, Xbox 360 and Xbox One users will soon no longer need a paid subscription to Xbox Live Gold to access Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming media apps.
Additionally, we've been told that Xbox Live Gold may put other services behind the paywall to make up for this shift, though those sources could not confirm whether that includes existing services or if that only includes upcoming content like TV series from Xbox Entertainment Studios.
The information has come to light thanks to ongoing discussions about the company's announcements at June's E3 games expo. At this point, it's important to note nothing is official, and Microsoft may change its mind before the company's June 9 keynote. Either way, we've been told that the possible change in policy is directly linked to a changing of the Xbox guard after Don Mattrick left the company to become Zynga's CEO.