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Sony Shutting Down PlayStation Vue; First vMVPD Casualty?

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Sony announced today it will shutter its PlayStation Vue subscription service on January 30, 2020, citing the expense of network contracts as a key reason. With vMVPD subscription costs rising and consumers slow to adopt them, this could be the first in a wave of skinny bundle failures.

News 1“Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected,” wrote John Kodera, deputy president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, in a blog post. “Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business.”

PlayStation Vue debuted in March 2015, launching in three markets (New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia). At first, it was only available through the PlayStation console, though it soon expanded to other devices. In July 2018, Sony raised the price by $5, then raised prices by another $5 in July 2019, with tiers ranging from $49.99 to $84.99 per month. In May 2019, it came in second in a streaming service customer satisfaction survey conducted by  the American Customer Satisfaction Index, bested only by Netflix.

Four days ago, rumors surfaced that Sony was trying to sell PlayStation Vue, with sources saying it was losing money despite price increases. Reports said the company had 500,000 subscribers and had approached FuboTV about a sale.

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