Sony PlayStation has put even more distance between it and selling video products now that it’s shutting down its transactional VOD store.
Starting August 31, 2021, the PlayStation Store will no longer offer movie and TV purchases and rentals. When this change takes effect, users will still be able to access movie and TV content they have purchased through PlayStation Store for on-demand playback on their PS4, PS5 and mobile devices.
“At [Sony Interactive Entertainment], 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,” wrote Vanessa Lee, head of video business for Sony Interactive Entertainment, in a blog post.
The change for the PlayStation Store will take it out of the competitive TVOD market that includes Apple, Amazon, FandangoNow, Google and Vudu. It comes roughly one year after PlayStation shut down its virtual MVPD, Vue.
Vue shuttered its operations in January 2020. John Kodera, then deputy president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said the highly competitive pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, was a primary driver of the company’s decision to ditch linear TV and remain focused on its core gaming business.
“We are very proud of what PlayStation Vue was able to accomplish. We had ambitious goals for how our service could change how people watch TV, showcasing PlayStation’s ability to innovate in a brand-new category within the pay TV industry. We want to thank all of our customers, some of whom have been with us since PlayStation Vue’s launch in 2015,” he wrote in a blog post.
The wider Sony corporation is still very much involved in entertainment. Recently Funimation, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) subsidiary Aniplex, acquired anime streaming service Crunchyroll from AT&T for $1.175 billion.