Premium channel Epix is going to offer its digital video-on-demand application via the PlayStation 3 video-game console. The viewer-authenticated service will offer PlayStation 3 users more than 3,000 movie titles, including The Avengers and The Hunger Games.
For Epix, the appeal is tapping a growing audience segment that’s streaming more video on the PlayStation, as wellas hitting home runs with the MLB: The Show ’13 video game. Video-on-demand and streaming services accounted for 22% of users’ overall time on PlayStation 3, Xbox and Wii systems last year, according to Nielsen. That’s up from 19% in 2011 and 13% in 2010.
PlayStation 3 users, in particular, are quickly adapting the gaming console as a primary platform for video content. Users spent nearly 25% of their console time streaming video content, up from 15% during the prior year, according to Nielsen.
The consoles also attract a younger, more multicultural viewer who may not be as accessible on traditional cable outlets. Among broadband users, about 32% of Asian-Americans, 32% of Hispanics and 28% of African-Americans have at least one gaming device in the home, compared to 22% of their white counterparts, according to a Horowitz Associates Multiplatform Content and Services survey.
With content distributors from Netflix and Hulu to HBO Go and Epix offering movies, series and documentaries via gaming consoles — along with live, out-of-market games from Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, National Football League and the National Basketball Association — it’s inevitable that viewers will continue to use their joysticks to control the streaming of The Avengers movie just as conveniently as they control Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America in the Avengers video game.