How Marketing Failed PlayStation Vue

If you haven’t heard by now, one of the most versatile and generous television streaming services is ending on January 30, 2020. PlayStation Vue began in 2015, and was one of the first cord-cutting streaming services. Back in August of 2019, rumors began to swirl about PlayStation Vue’s potential demise. Vue has only 500,000 subscribers as opposed to competitors YouTube TV, Hulu, and Sling TV which have over 2 million subscribers. Some market analysts attribute the deficit in subscribers to their recent rate hike. Still, the service hasn’t played well with others for a long time, and this article examines how marketing failed a potential industry giant in streaming TV.

So, what happened to PlayStation Vue?

It’s the Marketing Stupid

Marketing drives sales. Most business owners are aware of this axiom’s truth. Without proper marketing efforts, your product is non-existent in buyer’s minds. In PlayStation Vue’s last days, Sony decided to aggressively market the struggling PlayStation Vue, but their efforts failed. They focused their marketing efforts on emphasizing the idea that you don’t need a PlayStation gaming console to use PlayStation Vue. Perhaps they could have emphasized features that set Vue apart from their competition, like the ability to stream 5 devices at once! Vue offered subscribers a plethora of sports channels which competitors missed the mark in doing.

A Distinctive Name

You may ask, “What’s in a name?” A lot in this case, apparently. This is the case of a poorly chosen brand name. Now, the Vue service was awesome. Many sports fans adored PlayStation Vue for numerous sports channels and the ability to replay parts of a game. But what did people think when they saw the name “PlayStation Vue”? Video games of course. They saw the word “PlayStation” in the name and that made many to think that a PlayStation gaming console is required to use the PlayStation Vue television streaming service. Of course, that was not true, but Sony could not dispel that myth and that’s one of the main reasons for PlayStation Vue’s downfall.

No Differentiation between Vue and PlayStation Gaming

On that same note, everything stayed within PlayStation and not Vue. In other words, there was no differentiation between Vue and PlayStation gaming. The company didn’t seem to focus on promoting the “VUE” part. A perfect example of this was their slogan “Gaming the System.” The word “gaming” completely confuses the customer looking for a television streaming service.

No Dedicated Social Media Accounts

Believe it or not, there were no Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts dedicated solely to PlayStation Vue. Instead, Sony used the PlayStation (gaming) social media accounts to post about Vue. Again, the service was not differentiated from its gaming namesake.

Lack of Promotions

Along with the mixed-message advertising and lack of weekly press releases about new features, PlayStation Vue did not offer promotions, free trials, and referral rewards programs. Their competitors did these religiously, and that’s why they have millions of subscribers as opposed to PlayStation Vue’s 500,000. Now, 500,000 subscribers is nothing to sneeze at, but they have been in business since 2015. Newer competitors like Sling TV have double that. According to Cord Cutters News, Sling TV (in 2017) had three times (1.3 million) as many subscribers as PlayStation Vue and DIRECT NOW.

Lack of Feedback from PlayStation Vue Users and Difficult UI

The company failed to gather user feedback. This absence of surveying showed a lack of interest in customer retention. There were no referral-by-friends rewards. The UI was sometimes difficult to navigate, and there were connection issues.

If you search for PlayStation Vue complaints on Google, you’ll find hundreds of customers complaints about connection issues. Many of these disgruntled customers sounded off in blog comments and YouTube videos about these issues. Some were not satisfied with the answers they received from PlayStation Vue’s support page and chat.

Customers have a keen sense of whether or not they’re valued by a company. The subscribers of PlayStation Vue may wonder if Sony truly cares about them.

What happened to PlayStation Vue should serve as a lesson for us all.

When you don’t take the time to tone and adjust your message to suit your target audience, you lose their attention and potential business. When you do not take care of the current customers you do have, then you eventually lose business. It takes less money to retain customers than to acquire them. For instance, if Sony had set up dedicated Social Media accounts for Vue, announced new channels and features, with a how to guide…instead of forcing customers to figure out how to use it… then they could have developed more brand loyalty and retained more customers. As it is, YoutubeTV is now offering all current prospects a 2 week free trial, instead of 5 days, to give prospective customers time to try it out and announced it on their Social Channels.

Showing loyalty to your current customers and attend to their needs will help your business grow faster. Happy customers will in turn spread the word about your great your product or service is, and this will add to your company’s bottom line.

On-point marketing, dedicated social media accounts, and customer retention efforts are integral to keeping your business afloat. Without these three things, your business is not in the public’s mind. It’s invisible. Ask your friends if they know about PlayStation Vue. I’m willing to wager that only a few will know about the streaming service.

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