PlayStation owners will need to turn elsewhere for digital movie and TV rentals in the not-too-distant future. Sony announced today that all movie and TV purchases, as well as rentals, will no longer be offered through the PlayStation Store come September of this year. This move will, effectively, take PlayStation out of the digital movie and TV business.
The announcement was made via a press release on the company's official blog. The PlayStation Store will discontinue service for all movie and TV purchases and rentals effective August 31. It seems the company intends to focus more on video games and facilitating streaming services. Vanessa Lee, Sony Interactive Entertainment's head of video business, had this to say about it.
"At SIE, 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. "
Those who have made previous movie and TV purchases through the PlayStation Store will still have access to those titles once the change takes effect. It's just that new purchases will no longer be allowed. The release concluded with the following.
"When this change takes effect, users can still access movie and TV content they have purchased through PlayStation Store for on-demand playback on their PS4, PS5 and mobile devices. We thank our fans for their continued support, and we look forward to further enhancing the entertainment experience on PlayStation."
This is a massive change and one that, in some ways, may be hard to comprehend from a business perspective. Video game consoles have become far more than a hub for gaming. They are sophisticated multimedia devices. People use them to stream and watch content aside from gaming. Particularly, as the world has been locked down for much of the last year, digital movie and TV sales have flourished. VOD is a multi-billion market, as are digital movie and TV sales. Given that movie theaters still face a relatively uncertain future, it seems like a safe bet that this section of the entertainment business is only going to grow, even after life returns to normal.
But it is also a very crowded market to be in. Amazon, Apple with iTunes, Fandango, VUDU, Google Play, Roku, and not to mention the Microsoft Store which is available on XBOX devices, are all vying for a slice of that pie, among others. Plus, as was mentioned in the press release, streaming services have exploded in popularity. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and more are available for people to use for their content needs. Streaming is, in many ways, the future of entertainment. So, it appears Sony is content to focus on that side of things instead. This news comes to us via the official PlayStation Blog.