By Jared Newman | Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm
While there’s much fawning over the Xbox 360’s streaming Netflix service, it appears that Sony is doing quite well distributing movies on its own over the Playstation Network.
The story in Variety notes that Sony has made $180 million on “pieces of digital content” — more than 380 million downloads in all — since the company brought TV and movies the Playstation 3’s online service last summer. Praise for both Microsoft and Sony follows, saying that they “may have achieved something of a breakthrough as studios try to figure out the digital age.”
It seems obvious that the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are prime candidates for digital distribution onto televisions. With total worldwide sales easily topping 20 million for both consoles, the install base is already there. Plus, a lot of it is that golden 18-35 demograhic, particularly with the PS3. They’re downloading “The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man” and “The Pineapple Express” in mass quantities, Variety says. Of Sony’s digital offerings, the company says 65 percent are purchased, and the rest are rented.
I never expected video on demand to do as well on consoles as this report suggests. My money was always on free streaming video sites like Hulu to swoop in and offer content gratis. With the exception of YouTube, that hasn’t happened, and Hulu is having it’s own distribution issues right now.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem like the studios need those other services. If people are willing to pay for on demand video over their consoles, why offer it for free?