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PlayStation Vue Targets More Than Millennials

NEW YORKMore than year after its initial launch in March 2015, Sony’s PlayStation Vue is attracting a broad swath of customers, including families with kids, chief Dwayne Benefield said.

At the Next TV Summit here, Benefield, vice president and head of PlayStation Vue at Sony Interactive Entertainment, said that while two-thirds of its audience is still comprised of millennials, about one-quarter of subscribers are new to the PlayStation medium. That growth has been fueled by the addition of new platforms that can run on the service.

“The new platforms definitely helped,” Benefield said in a fireside chat with Next TV editor Jeff Baumgartner. “Having sticks from Amazon and Roku that are sub-$50 has helped with the ease of access to the service. PlayStation Vue is for the gamer household, including the children, wives and partners of the user.” The typical PlayStation Vue customer is a heavy sports fan — its basic package includes all the Fox Sports and NBC Sports Group regional sports networks — with adult cartoons and some kids programming also among the service’s most-watched shows, he said.

PlayStation Vue has worked hard to include broadcast content in the service — it has reached deals to carry the owned-and-operated stations of all four major broadcast networks. Expanding beyond those markets has been more difficult, mainly because local network affiliates are owned by several different station groups, but Benefield said the idea is to make local TV available across the footprint.

In markets where it currently doesn’t offer live local broadcasters, it offers “slim” versions of its three core packages — Access, Core and Elite — that allow users to watch on-demand broadcast content the day after its original airing. An Ultra TV package that includes HBO, Showtime and more than 100 other channels was added last month.