Sony quits its live streaming TV streaming service PlayStation Vue January 30, 2020, the company announced today. The sudden closure announcement comes just a week after a report published by The Information which said Sony was looking for a buyer for the service, which has been continuously losing money to the company since its launch in March 2015. Sony has repeatedly raised the price of Vue to try to offset rising costs, most recently by $ 5 across all plans back in July.
“Unfortunately, the highly competitive pay-TV industry with expensive content and networking agreements has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to continue to focus on our core gaming business, ”Sony said in a blog post announcing the closure. "PlayStation fans can continue to access movie and TV content through PlayStation Store on PS4 and through our partnerships with top entertainment apps."
PlayStation Vue was launched four years ago as an early competitor in the so-called pay-TV market, which is a restructured form of cable made popular by companies like Sling. Like most other providers, Sony offered a lean bundle of channels with the option of adding more premium channels, such as sports and entertainment channels, by paying a higher monthly subscription fee. After the price increase, the initial Vue plan cost about $ 50 a month. At the height, Vue gathered around 500,000 subscribers, which is far less than competitors such as Sling and YouTube TV, The Information reported last week.
Ultimately, it looks like Sony couldn't make the economy work, as the cost of licensing cable channels far outweighed the money Sony could get back on subscription. Vue's demise is also a signal that customers' interest in traditional cable bundles, lean or otherwise, continues to shrink. As a result, big players in the entertainment industry are wasting huge resources on developing the right streaming services on demand to compete with Amazon and Netflix. This includes Disney with Disney +, Apple with Apple TV Plus, AT&T with HBO Max, and NBCUniversal with Peacock.