Sony Has No Plans to Shut Down PlayStation Vue: Report

Exec says OTT TV service is providing useful user data
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If the virtual MVPD market is headed for a shakeout, Sony doesn’t expect its entry, PlayStation Vue, to be one of the services that doesn’t make it.

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Sony has no plans to shut down PS Vue, as it is bringing in useful user data, Sony’s CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told reporters, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Speculation about the future of PS Vue swirled this week when a presentation (PDF) given at Sony’s investors relations day characterized that the market and future business model for PS Vue “remains uncertain.” Sony also said that market growth for PlayStation VR is below expectations, but added that utilizing those businesses to strengthen user engagement is also key.

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News out of Sony this week also centered on word that the PS4 is in its “final phase,” which in reality means that the next iteration of the platform is still three years out. Notably, the majority of PS Vue streaming now occurs on non-PlayStation devices.

What is more certain is that Sony’s OTT TV service will continue to find new ways to get local programming to subscribers, as PS Vue announced it is now offering a new national live Fox feed in 34 markets that arrive in the wake of a dispute with Sinclair that resulted in the loss of Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC feeds in some areas.

Sony has not releases subscriber figures for PS Vue, which launched in March 2013 and is believed to be trailing behind other OTT TV services such as DirecTV Now and Sling TV.

However, from a customer satisfaction standpoint, it’s in the right video category – streaming.

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Consumers are more satisfied with video streaming services such as Netflix and PlayStation Vue than they are with traditional TV services – and leading by a big margin – according to a new report from The American Customer Satisfaction Index.

The 2018 version of the ACSI Telecommunications Report, found that overall customer satisfaction with subscription TV services fell 3.1% to a score of 62 (out of a possible 100), an 11-year low.

By comparison, video streaming services, which includes SVODs and virtual MVPDs, pulled in a score of 75.

Netflix, PS Vue and Twitch led the streaming group with a score of 78.

Among traditional pay TV services, AT&T U-verse topped the charts in 2018 with a score of 70, followed by Verizon Fios TV (68), Dish (67) and DirecTV satellite TV (64). Optimum (Altice USA) was the highest-scoring cable operator with a 62, down from 66 in 2017.

Among the pay TV group, picture quality got high marks, with call center satisfaction on the opposite end

The disparity in customer satisfaction comes as people continue to defect to lower-cost online video services alongside OTT experiences that have “fundamentally changed buyer expectations,” ACSI said.

“OTT operators have raised the bar by providing greater personalization, lower prices, more mobility – and much better customer service,” ACSI said in the report. 

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