No they don’t recognise $14.99 when the user pays $1. That would be artificially inflating income and that’s illegal. Lol the shit you read on these forums.
They sure do.
From an accounting perspective all those subscribers will go down on the GP income statement with the full value of the subscription.
Elsewhere on that income statement a charge will be recognized which is the discounted revenue. Thus the final cash flow is an accurate figure.
Sadly, because MS obfuscate the Xbox portion of their business, these and other numbers are impossible to identify so no one can tell how much they're spending per sub, making or losing.
The problem with this is that MS are offering a discount which is available to all purchasers and is clearly available for many financial periods... Not a very satisfactory way to evaluate the health of that part of the business is it? All investors get (right now anyway) is "18 million subs!" and an assumption those subs will all go to full price one day.
I've yet to see a single person saying they pay full price for GP...