Sony used to sell movies and TV shows through the PlayStation Store, but that ended in August 2021. Existing purchases were still available, although some of them are now starting to disappear; another sign that digital collections don’t last forever.
Variety Y 4K movie are reporting that hundreds of movies from French movie distributor Studiocanal, as well as some Lionsgate movies, will be removed from the libraries of anyone who has purchased them in the past. The change only affects people in two countries, Germany and Austria, but it’s never good to see digital shopping suddenly disappear for shoppers. The list of affected content includes paddington 1 and 2, robocop, american gods, Shaun the Sheep Movie: FarmageddonY The Hunger Games Serie.
Sony said on the German PlayStation site (translated), “due to our evolving license agreements with content providers, you will no longer be able to view Studio Canal content you previously purchased and it will be removed from your video library. We greatly appreciate your continued support.”
The PlayStation Store is primarily intended for purchasing PlayStation digital games, but Sony also sells other content through the store. You could rent and buy movies and TV shows at one point, but that functionality was shut down in August 2021. Sony said existing purchases would still be playable on the PS4, PS5 and mobile devices… which didn’t turn out to be accurate. .
While this specific shutdown is small in scope, it’s another sign that digital movie purchases (and digital purchases of any kind, really) don’t last forever. The Microsoft Store stopped selling books in 2019 and access to purchased books was removed shortly after, but at least Microsoft offered refunds, something Sony isn’t doing here. UltraViolet, another popular digital library for movies, closed in 2019 but allowed purchases to migrate to other services using Movies Anywhere.
If you want to make sure your movies and TV shows aren’t subject to the whims of dealings between tech companies and distributors, good Blu-ray discs are a great option. Many movies come with codes to record digital copies anyway, and you can rip the discs to make your own DRM-free version.
Source: Variety, 4K Film, Sony