Sony's Crackle video service is still low profile, but media reports indicate an expansion across the PlayStation Network for the high-budget, $1 million per webisode video content service.
A recent report from The New York Times
cites analysts and Sony executives regarding plans to expand online video portal Crackle's presence across its PS3-based PlayStation Network.
The New York Times notes: "Analysts point out that Crackle could become the primary entertainment channel for Sony’s PlayStation Network, a fast-growing video service that pumps games and online content into the living room via PlayStation 3 consoles."
It also comments: "Crackle already has a limited presence on the PlayStation Network, but Sony executives confirm that an expansion is in the works."
Crackle (Clean Break, The Hustler), which has been struggling as a stand-alone Web destination, would be a perfect fit with the PlayStation Network, the newspaper's sources suggest.
Much like popular free-to-watch video website Hulu
, Sony's Crackle
allows users to watch movies, television, original shows and more. Crackle still has a low subscriber base (4.1 million unique users) when compared to websites like College Humor (12.6 million unique users), but Sony aims to change that by engaging the gaming demographic.
Sony is currently spending up to $1 million on each original webisode series that airs on Crackle. However, Sony Pictures Television’s senior vice president for digital networks, Eric Berger, feels this is a risk worth taking, telling the Times that Crackle's 50 million registered accounts worldwide help to “offer a great deal of scale that is terrific from an advertiser perspective."
Sony's previous history with digital media sites contains a number of failed attempts. It launched Sony Connect as a competitor against Apple's iTunes, which shut down in 2008. Sony also played a role in Movielink, an on-demand service that was purchased by Blockbuster in 2007 and shut down at the end of 2008.