Sony has confirmed that its live TV service PlayStation Vue, launched in 2015, will shut down on January 30, 2020. Vue was another misfire by Sony.
PlayStation Vue is dead
Sony's attempt at creating a live TV service has failed. Four and a half year after launch in spring 2015, Sony is giving up.
- "Today we are announcing that we will shut down the PlayStation Vue service on January 30, 2020. Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business," said John Kodera, Deputy President, Sony IE.
- "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."
Sony's closing comment is a strange representation of the current market situation. The market has changed very quickly and that is exactly why PlayStation Vue has failed. Despite its more modern distribution method (streaming), PlayStation Vue was squarely rooted in the old ways, the old business models, and the old TV ecosystem.
Like other 'skinny TV bundles', PlayStation Vue had also become bloated and far more expensive over the years. The TV service never launched outside North America due to its deep roots in the traditional ecosystem. And Vue was supported on only a few devices such as the PlayStation console.
It is another misfire by Sony. Outside of gaming, most of Sony's attempts at creating services have failed. Just earlier this year, the company shut down its 'ULTRA' 4K movie streaming service and sold its ad-supported Crackle video service. Before that, it tried and failed at building a music service (Music Unlimited) and a movie service (Video Unlimited).
Sony never revealed subscriber numbers for PlayStation Vue but competing similar services such as AT&T TV Now (née DirecTV Now) have been bleeding subscribers for some time now.
- Source: Sony IE