Video Essentials

Talking Programming Strategy with Sony

When several players are offering similar video content, how do you differentiate yourself? That’s the problem faced by Sony in attracting viewers for the online programming it streams through the PlayStation 3 gaming console.

At the recent Streaming Media West conference, John Koller, Sony’s director of hardware marketing, sat down for a red carpet interview to talk strategy.

Much of what set-top boxes offer viewers is the same content, acknowledged Koller. That’s because most premium content comes from the major studios, and they offer all the online services the same content at the same time.

If there’s no difference is the content available on a Roku, Apple TV, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3, you need to find an advantage that will attract viewers. Sony has chosen to do so with original content.

Sony has already completed two seasons of its own reality show called The Tester, which is exclusive to PlayStation viewers. In The Tester, avid gamers compete for a job as a game tester with Sony. With minimal marketing, Sony was able to get 2.5 million downloads of the show.

Microsoft went with another strategy in promoting video on the Xbox 360, said Koller. It searches out exclusive deals, and originally offered Netflix content before Sony and Nintendo did. The idea is the same: get something that your competitors don’t have.

When you’re looking for content to feature, listen to what your audience is telling you. Delivering content can’t be a one-side relationship. Consumers will tell you what they want. You just need to make sure you’re hearing them.

Besides having fresh content, you need to make sure viewers can find what you’re offering, said Koller. Don’t assume that great content will find an audience; give it a push.

“We have to make sure that we give the right tools to the consumers to find the content, to be interested in the content,” said Koller.

You can view the entire interview here:

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