I think most people are smart enough to understand the difference between expecting to be able to access movies as part of a streaming service and owning content. It’s pretty cut and dry right? If you pay money to purchase something it’s yours, whether you put it in the cloud or sit it on your coffee table. It’s not a rental, it’s a digital asset. Well, apparently Sony does not think so.
Variety is reporting that Sony will remove access to hundreds of movie titles from Studiocanal that customers in Germany and Austria previously purchased. Excuse me? What the hell does Sony think it’s doing? People bought those movies. This announcement should send a big warning to PlayStation owners across the world. Sony doesn’t care what you purchased. If they will pull movies from one studio right out of your library what is to stop them from pulling anything else out?
There has been a quiet movement by people concerned over control of media that has been advocating for physical ownership of media. It’s part of the reason apps like Plex and Kodi grew popular. It is because users can digitize their own media and access it online as though it were a personalized Netflix. It is also the concept behind Apple’s iTunes store, Vudu, and Amazon’s video purchases. If you buy a season of Game of Thrones on Vudu you do not expect the company to just say ok you don’t have it anymore. But somehow that is what Sony plans to do.
No matter what its reasoning is, the company is making a huge mistake on this front. Sony for instance has a cloud gaming platform called PS Now. It is built on the idea of paying to access a library of games monthly. Like a streaming service or notably like Microsofts Xbox Game Pass. The service at the moment does not offer users the ability to purchase games and keep them on the cloud. But if it were, would people trust the company not to pull titles from that library?
Do better Sony. Or this might be the first step down a disastrous path.