PlayStation Now revenue has handily beat out the competition in the third quarter of 2018. While Microsoft and Electronic Arts’ subscription services were certainly no slouches when it comes to earning money, PlayStation Now has undoubtedly proved itself king of the hill. Sony’s subscription service brought in $143 million throughout the third quarter of 2018, accounting for 52% of the $273 million in revenue generated by such services as determined by industry research group Superdata.
The competition has nicely divided up the remaining percentage of revenue with EA’s offerings in the lead and Xbox Game Pass holding a respectable third place position. EA Access, Origin Access, and Origin Access Premier brought in around $90 million in combined revenue for the third quarter of 2018, putting it more than $50 million behind PlayStation Now revenue. As for Microsoft’s offerings, the Xbox Game Pass program collected approximately $41 million in revenue. These are certainly respectable numbers all around, but it’s clear that PlayStation Now has a strong lead among the competition.
While these are certainly impressive numbers, all of these services combined only account for 6 percent of console and PC revenue (with the exception of free-to-play games which is another beast altogether). This may seem small, but Gamesindustry.biz notes that Superdata is seeing an increase in consumers who are willing to adopt subscription services for their entertainment. As an example, they state that 74% of US consumers get their digital video entertainment through subscription services like Netflix and Hulu as opposed to buying movies, television shows, and the like individually on a permanent basis through Amazon Video, iTunes, and comparable platforms.
One important factor to note is the ability for video games to sell additional content to players beyond the subscription fee. To put it simply, television shows and movies don’t have DLC and microtransactions. Superdata noted that subscribers to services like PlayStation Now spend an average of $25 a month on in-game content compared to an average of $10 a month for non-subscribers. That’s not to say that subscribers don’t make any purchases of games, either—users of these services spend an average of $57 a month on purchasing games as compared to the non-subscriber average of $39. That means that for every three months, a subscriber to PlayStation Now or Xbox Game Pass will buy roughly 3 full-price games whereas a non-subscriber will only buy 2.
PlayStation Now revenue has certainly been strong, beating their next closest competitor by more than $50 million and leaving Microsoft in the dust by nearly $100 million. Consumers are showing an increased willingness to sign up for these services, but it seems like Electronic Arts and Microsoft have a lot of catching up to do.