Sony officials report that ad revenue from original video content on its PlayStation Network, including reality series The Tester, is up 60 percent compared to last year.
While not giving specific revenue numbers, MediaWeek reports
that Sony is becoming increasingly focused on drawing advertising money out of its line up of original downloadable videos, including reality series The Tester, promotional interactive magazine Qore and game-centric news show The Pulse.
The Tester, for instance, featured no advertising in its first season, and therefore failed to monetize the 2.5 million free downloads those eight episodes attracted earlier this year.
For the upcoming second season, which Sony hopes will attract 3.5 million downloads, the company has lined up advertising and branded marketing deals with companies including Ford, Electronic Arts and the U.S. Air Force.
“We’ve really had to shift our mindset from a gaming company to a media company,” PlayStation Network Senior Director Susan Panico told the magazine. "Original series are a more passive entertainment. They are a little out of our initial purview."
Despite the revenue growth for their current original video line up, Panico said the PSN service will roll out further new series slowly, modeling their strategy on HBO's gradual series release schedule.
Sony claims over 50 million registered accounts for its free PlayStation Network service, which operates across the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. Earlier this year, the company added a paid PlayStation Plus tier
that offers free game trials and full game downloads among other features.