PlayStation Vue Passes 100,000 Subs29 Jun, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
With Sony’s PlayStation Vue surpassing 100,000 subscribers, according to Bloomberg, the numbers would appear to validate CBS CEO Les Moonves’ recent contention the online TV service is a failure.
Launched in 2015 in just three markets, Vue earlier this year went nationwide with its three-tiered channel bundles priced from $30 monthly. The boost in subs could be attributed to Roku offering Vue on its platform, joining Amazon Fire TV and Apple iOS. Android June 29 began offering the Vue app on its platform.
“What we’ve been told is that [Vue] numbers, in terms of sub-adoption, has gone up tremendously,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told an investor group in May.
Disney, along with Time Warner and 21st Century Fox, are major content providers.
Sony didn’t comment on the Vue sub count, but did disclose new Vue features and updates coming to PS4 and PS3. The PS4 is getting a video thumbnail enabling users to view selected content while perusing the channel guide. In addition, “quick navigation” enables users to select options from a special menu while watching a program.
Supplementary enhancements include a quicker way to preview rewind/fast-forward content and favorite channels duplicated in the guide in alphabetical order.
“Additional UI improvements are also added for both PS4 and PS3,” Dan Myers, head of product for PlayStation Vue, wrote in a blog post.
Yet, 100K subs places Vue significantly behind Dish Network’s Sling TV, which reportedly has more 700,000 subs. Hulu is set to launch online TV service in 2017.
CBS has largely been on the skinny bundle sideline, preferring to showcase SVOD service CBS All Access and ad-supported CBSN. In March, Moonves appeared to acknowledge the reality of new skinny bundles emerging going forward. He also suggested — without elaborating — that PlayStation Vue wasn’t working and Sling TV lacked the proper networks, i.e. CBS and Showtime.
“It’s a good first step. They’re a great idea whose time has come. People are tired of paying for things they don’t want to watch,” Moonves said.