The Streamable reported on Tuesday that Sony will discontinue its PlayStation Vue live streaming TV operations on January 30, 2020.
A competitive marketplace with high-powered rival streamers ultimately contributed to PlayStation Vue’s undoing in this area. An inability to turn profits was a persistent problem, and buyers with more resources could shoulder the initial costs of building an audience.
Included in The Streamable report is a statement from Sony Interactive Deputy President John Kodera, part of which is below:
Over four years ago, we made a bold decision to change the rules and revolutionize the traditional TV-viewing experience in the U.S. with PlayStation Vue. We set the bar high and sought to innovate an established industry by delivering a modern TV experience. By completely rethinking live and on demand television, we offered an incredible user experience that allowed viewers to discover and watch content in completely new ways.
Today we are announcing that we will shut down the PlayStation Vue service.The Streamable
As can still be seen on PlayStation’s official website, its live TV streaming services was quite the bargain. At $54.99 per month, the core plan provides access to all official major American sports networks and massive news outlets.
Hulu, YouTube TV portended PlayStation Vue’s demise
It almost goes without saying how influential YouTube has been in the way we view entertainment. Now it’s getting in on original TV series programming, movies and live TV. That’s hard to contend with.
Hulu, meanwhile, has embarked on an extremely effective marketing for live sports. The company has featured high-profile athletes such as Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid to promote its own initiative.
Plus, Hulu is operating from a foundation that features over 28 million subscribers. And that was before Disney took full control of Hulu as part of its massive deal to acquire 21st Century Fox. Imagine if fledgling streaming giant Disney+ starts to get in on this corner of content.
Sony simply doesn’t have that type of firepower. PlayStation has built its brand for years on video game content, and straddling into the streaming realm proved too tall a task.
But as Kodera mentions, its innovation and foresight was a precursor to the seemingly more successful ventures that are to follow. Unfortunately for Sony, they’re like the MoviePass to AMC Theatres’ Stubs A-List deal in this analogy.
What’s next for PlayStation Vue?
Kodera explains in the statement, per The Streamable, that the company’s focus will zero in on its “core gaming business.”
Wise choice. Commendable though their cord-cutting efforts were, PlayStation Vue was going to have a hard time keeping up when the power players entered the live TV streaming game.
And it was a good service, too! But PlayStation built its brand on gaming. It only makes sense to specialize and expand where appropriate there in moving forward.