Proprietary Content Provider Woes

I am a fan of technology and comics so when Sony started providing comics through their Playstation Store service I decided to give it a go. It wasn’t bad for an early go and I enjoyed the ability to download and read comics on a whim.

Yesterday I received an email from Sony which was blank. Well, actually it was an HTML only email which my mail client did not render (as I block HTML email) including a email opened tracking image (http://links.sony.mkt3395.com/open/log/.*) via MarkMonitor. The email had the subject of “PSP (PlayStation Portable) comic content service closure announcement”. I followed the more information link and read up what the plan was.

Question: Why are you closing the Comic store for PSP?
Answer: We stopped providing new content to the Comic Store last summer to focus on bringing the comic service to other Sony devices. Our focus now is to bring more  digital entertainment services to our products.

Q: What happens in January when the re-download service for Comic Store is no longer available, will I be able to access my previously downloaded comic content?
A: From mid-January you will not be able to access previously downloaded content from the Comic Store however, to avoid losing your downloaded content you can back it up on your PC using the Media Go application

(Source)

My first thought was “Great, all my purchases are now dead.” but I decided to avoid being so negative so quickly and clicked for more information on Media Go. Maybe they have a plan for us consumers.

Plans?

Media Go can backup the comics that one purchased but it requires either Windows and/or Sony devices. That puts me totally out of luck. My understanding is that the format of the comics are proprietary so I’d probably be out of luck even if I could back them up without purchasing something to run Sony’s proprietary software. My saving grace is that I didn’t spend a ton of money on getting comics from Sony else I’d be really upset.

What Would Have Been Better

Sony’s focusing on ‘providing content’ to their other devices. That’s all well and good but I own one of their devices and the comics were some of the content. A better solution for customers would have been to make a deal with another provider of digital comics to allow for continued access to already purchased content. Even if it is proprietary to proprietary (like ComiXology) it would still be continued easy access.

Sony Says Thank You

“We apologise to fans for the change and thank you for your support of the Comic Store for PSP,” said SCEE’s Mayumi Donovan.

(Source)

I guess some companies are not ready to provide content. I hope they learn from this mistake as I have. In the future I’ll be much more cautions on who I allow be a paid content provider by looking at how they handled the end of previous content distribution.

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