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Nainan Shah
Former SVP, Corporate Strategy and Development at PlayStation, Sony

Learning outcomes

  • Why the penetration of PlayStation now is low relative to total installed base

Executive Bio

Nainan Shah

Former SVP, Corporate Strategy and Development at PlayStation, Sony

Nainan has over 25 years experience working for Sony PlayStation. He is the Former SVP, Corporate Strategy and Development at PlayStation where he was responsible for leading Sony through the shift from physical to digital gaming. From 2005-14, Nainan had P&L responsibility for PlayStation’s digital membership and subscription services, PlayStation Plus and Now, and was pivotal in restructuring Sony’s business model to focus on digital services. Read more

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Interview Transcript

Looking at PlayStation Now, I think there’s just under a million subscribers, when they have 90 million plus PS users. Why is the penetration so low?

PlayStation Now is newer. I’m not sure about those numbers. I think they are probably a lot better than that. But there have been a few things. Firstly, it takes time for the customer to adopt a new business model. I don’t think it’s a technology hurdle, because the customer actually has a choice of streaming and downloading, for the content that is on the service. I think that both Game Pass and PlayStation Now are growing fairly steadily. But it’s going to take another shift in content and the willingness and vigor with which content is put into that service, for them to grow. You’ll have seen that Game Pass grew very quickly, when Xbox decided to put day and date first-party titles in there. I think it’s really just a question of content proposition and the willingness of publishers and the platforms to shift away from their current model and the economics of that.

It’s kind of a Catch-22 because, until you have tens of millions of subscribers, it’s very difficult to make economic sense of spending $100 million on a game and then putting it in a service. I think those are the kind of things that need to evolve, over time. I think we will start to see these services grow, significantly, if only because it’s a very competitive space, so no one wants to lose. EA wants to be there, Ubisoft wants to be there, Xbox wants to be there and Sony will want to be there. I think they will just compete and the competition will create growth.

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