By Jared Newman | Friday, May 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm
Sony is boasting about its downloadable movie and TV show offerings on the Playstation Network, telling Video Business that revenues are up 300 percent from the same time last year.
There also appears to be a new demographic in play. “We’re getting people in the households who hadn’t yet interacted with their [Playstation 3] in the past,” Eric Lampel, the Playstation Network’s director of operations, said. “This is the girlfriend, wife and mother.”
He points to the film Bride Wars as an example, as it became a top-ranked movie download after its April 28 release.
I suspect a hint of marketing in Lampel’s statements. Video Business notes that a hefty amount of PSN’s movie offerings are action and animation flicks — not exactly fare for the missus — and Lampel concedes that the service is “very game heavy.” It is a video game console, after all. There’s probably truth in what he says, but I think the “everyone’s digging it” idea is a deliberate message.
Sony has ambitions to expand the PS3’s role. Lampel said PSN wants to be a major source for original, mainstream (as in, not nerdy anime?) programming. He speaks of broadening the console’s audience “not necessarily around gaming” and mentions HBO’s exclusive content creation as a model worth following. Can you imagine the Playstation 3 churning out edgy dramas and comedies? Perhaps it could happen through cooperation with Sony Pictures.
One thing I’ll add, alluded to Lampel’s quote about wives and girlfriends: If the Playstation 3 (and the Xbox 360, for that matter) are going to gain broad appeal beyond the stereotypical college male gamer demographic, it’ll take those dedicted gamers to reel in the outsiders. That means the original content has to be so good, it’s worth evangelizing. Let’s see what Sony comes up with.