The announcement doesn’t come as a surprise following The Information’s reporting last week that Sony's PlayStation Vue has been losing money every year since it's launch in 2015. Sony has repeatedly raised prices to try and make the service sustainable, to the ire of subscribers. The company was reportedly looking for a buyer to take over the service but it seems that didn’t pan out.
Too much competition — Streaming video is now an incredibly crowded space as both tech and entertainment giants alike race to grab a piece of Netflix's pie. It's not just Netflix and Prime Video that Sony had to compete with, but also OTT services like YouTube TV and SlingTV. Not to mention upcoming services like Disney+ and Apple TV+. The list goes on and on, and Sony clearly decided they weren’t in it for the long haul.
“Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business,” Sony said in a blog post.
PlayStation Vue was widely received as a good if undifferentiated offering.
Go big or go home — The streaming video space has left lots of red ink in its wake as companies spend billions of dollars on content deals and more on promotions to attract customers. Sony was facing off against competitors with virtually limitless pocketbooks who could afford to subsidize their entertainment efforts with big profits from other lines of business, such as Amazon and its AWS cloud centers. These companies invariably view streaming video as a hook with which to keep customers engaged in their ecosystems, spending money on other, more profitable, products. That just isn’t Sony’s business model.