Folks, it appears we have our first major casualty of the streaming TV wars. Sony has announced they are shutting down their Playstation Vue streaming service. They made the announcement via the Official Playstation Blog. Plans to shutter the service are already in play, and they will complete the shutdown on January 30th, 2020.
With the sheer amount of options available, it comes as no surprise that one of the many options would end up dying off. What is surprising though, is that it happened to be Playstation Vue, which was a moderately popular option amongst cord-cutters. Combining a solid variety of network TV options, and a partnership with DirecTV that allows fans access to NFL Sunday Ticket, PlayStation Vue felt like a complete offering.
Sony cited the “highly competitive pay-TV market” and “expensive network and content deals” as reasons for killing Vue. When worded that way, it comes across more as Sony admitting they simply couldn’t keep up with the content arms race happening behind the scene. With Comcast/Xfinity owning NBC Universal, Disney launching their own service, and AT&T buying Time Warner, third party providers were likely going to get the squeeze anyway. In other words, if you control the content, you control the market.
Even with one less option on the market, consumers will have several big-name options to choose from. Netflix is constantly throwing out new content, Hulu is still around, AT&T has 4 different services to choose from and is launching HBO Max soon, and Apple and Disney will be entering the fray soon. Sony was wise to get out of the streaming business and return their core focus to the gaming community. As time passes there will certainly be more casualties within the Great Streaming Wars.