The failures of PlayStation Vue and PlayStation video: Sony's tv streaming and distribution platform
A lot has changed over the years as technology has also advanced. Gaming consoles are no longer just for playing video games as they have been poised to becoming an all-round entertainment system. According to retroonly.com, “The PlayStation stepped its game up through features that serve entertainment on a silver platter. You can use the console to play music as well as movies. While these practices are as old as time, a later addition to the SONY family called “PlayStation Vue” created quite a buzz among fans”.
PlayStation Vue and PlayStation video are two video/tv services, Sony offered to its consumers accessible on PlayStation and any other smart device via the PlayStation Vue and PlayStation video app.
PlayStation Vue or Ps Vue for short, is Sony entertainment’s live streaming and distribution platform originally offered to its consumers in March of 2015. This platform offered video on demand, cloud-based DVR and live tv which users could stream right from their PlayStation or smart devices. It was Sony’s chord cutter i.e. alternative to cable. Going in the steps of YouTube tv, Hulu live and sling (live streaming alternative cable).
PlayStation Video also known as video unlimited on the other hand is a video distribution platform for film and television, created in 2010 in order for its users to buy, rent and stream tv/movie contents on their PlayStation or smart devices through the PlayStation Video App. Both served different purposes. One was live tv the other was Film/tv streaming catalogue which is basically a distribution outlet. Both these two platforms failed for very similar reasons as seen below
· Very competitive industry with expensive cost for content.
· Poor communication
Very competitive industry with expensive cost for content – Both Sony’s on demand service and live tv service are in very competitive territories. Hence having licensing rights to contents whether it’s live tv or video on demand, it is pretty pricey to put up a fight with the other big dogs in the industry. Sony gaming division already has a lot on their plates, and they just weren’t ready for the commitment needed to compete with the big dogs. Sony announced that it would be discontinuing its Vue services on January 30th of 2020 and at the time no longer accepting new subscribers. They released a statement about wanting to focus on video games. Sony also released another statement for the cancelation of PlayStation video a year later stating:
“At SIE, we strive to provide the best entertainment experience for PlayStation fans, and that means evolving our offerings as customer needs change. We’ve seen tremendous growth from PlayStation fans using subscription-based and ad-based entertainment streaming services on our consoles. With this shift in customer behavior, we have decided to no longer offer movie and TV purchases and rentals through PlayStation Store as of August 31, 2021.” That was it by 2021, other streaming services had bullied Sony out of its place.
Marketing - “According to Michael Goodman, director of media strategies at Strategy Analytics: Aside from lacking the advertising advantages of its competition, Sony also failed to put a sufficient amount of marketing muscle behind Vue, while both Hulu and YouTube received very heavy pushes from their corporate parents. He also argued that the PlayStation brand was not the best way for Sony to market a subscription TV service, as most consumers associate that name with video games.”
In order words sony went by their marketing all wrong. They tried to push it as something for PlayStation fan srather than a brand under Sony. Goodman also stated that even though PlayStation enjoys a huge base, this type of platforms need to appeal to the US households not just gamers. Playstation Video on the other hand(TVOD & SVOD service) was totally neglected and wasn’t really marketed as it should have been. A lot of PlayStation users didn’t see the use of renting TV/film on the platform when they can easily access Amazon and other streaming platforms also available on the PlayStation
Poor Communication. – Sony never communicated with its subscribers. They left everyone to figure anything by themselves. Not even a single social media account for either PlayStation vue or PlayStation video. There was almost absolutely no way for consumers to give feedback or communicate with Sony. This invertedly led to the decrease in subscribers and lack of growth. This led to a lot of negative remarks and impressions of Sony which did not pay off on the long run as we have seen. Sony shot themselves in the foot.
In conclusion this services Sony offered were pretty good and loved by its consumers, but they weren’t able to do enough to keep the momentum. Sony might in the future replicate a Disney plus model for it’s movies for distribution of its original content. If they eventually do, I hope they have learnt the mistakes from PlayStation Vue and PlayStation Video.
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Haider, Anser. “ Playstation vue demise caused by marketing, competitive issues, analyst say”.
S & P Global Maket Intelligence. https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/playstation-vue-s-demise-caused-by-marketing-competitive-issues-analysts-say-55146583 . October 31st, 2019. Web.