Due to a "shift in customer behavior," Sony has revealed it will cease selling and renting movies and TV episodes in its digital PlayStation Store. Sony suggested most players tend to use subscriotion- or ad-based services like Netflix and Hulu, rather than rent or buy movies and TV in piecemeal. The change will go into effect on August 31, 2021.
Any content purchased or rented will still be available according to their previous terms - rentals last 14 days or 48 hours once you start to watch the content, purchases will remain yours to keep.
Sony announced the news in a brief post on the PlayStation Blog:
At SIE, we strive to provide the best entertainment experience for PlayStation fans, and that means evolving our offerings as customer needs change. We’ve seen tremendous growth from PlayStation fans using subscription-based and ad-based entertainment streaming services on our consoles. With this shift in customer behavior, we have decided to no longer offer movie and TV purchases and rentals through PlayStation Store as of August 31, 2021.
When this change takes effect, users can still access movie and TV content they have purchased through PlayStation Store for on-demand playback on their PS4, PS5 and mobile devices. We thank our fans for their continued support, and we look forward to further enhancing the entertainment experience on PlayStation.
There's no word yet on whether Microsoft has similar plans, though it's worth noting that Sony's backing away from such services leaves Microsoft as the only game storefront that also rents and sells digital movies and TV.
On the bright side, the removal of movies and TV from the PlayStation Store may mean the search function finally returns relevant results when players are looking up games by name.