Sony made an official announcement that the company will shut down its live TV streaming service, PlayStation Vue, by January of next year. The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s news that Sony was in the market for a potential buyer for the service, which has continually been a profit loss for the company since 2015.
In response to offset any cost incurred by the streaming service, Sony over the years has repeatedly raised the price of Vue in an attempt to offset its rising costs— the most recent increase in service fees taking place in July, with a 5 dollar fee added to all service plans.
“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,” Sony mentioned in the company’s online blog. “PlayStation fans can continue to access movie and TV content through the PlayStation Store on PS4 and via our partnerships with top entertainment apps.”
Sony’s PlayStation Vue initially launched four years ago and was considered at the time an early competitor in the “pay-TV market,” which is an industry term to describe the increase in pay-for-view cable services in favor of actual cable packages similar to Sling.
In the same fashion as other vendors, Sony offered a smaller bundle of channels with the option to upgrade to a more premium package that included sports and entertainment channels along with a higher price tag for the subscription fee. After the company’s last increase, subscribers saw Vue’s plan cost around $50 a month— an interesting contrast to their rather low subscriber ratio which at its peak only encompassed 500,000 subscribers.
Vue’s amount of subscribers were reportedly far lower than other competitors such as Sling and YouTube TV, signaling that there is an increasing lack of interest by audiences to purchase traditional cable packages. However, the streaming war only continues to grow as bigger companies e.g. Amazon, Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV Plus, HBO Max, and Peacock, among others, continue to create and grow their own digital libraries in response to the ongoing change in consumer viewing habits.