Sony stops selling soap

Company shuts VOD site

Sony is ending its effort to sell soap operas online, less than two years after it started.

Studio’s Soapcity Web site has shuttered its video-on-demand business, which let users pay $1.99 to download episodes of “The Young and the Restless,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “As the World Turns.”

Decision is part of a general push by Sony Pictures to get out of the online content business. Studio has largely moved its online content business to Sony Corp. and shut down its other major online Internet effort, Screenblast.

After initially focusing on the ‘Net during the dot-com boom, Sony Pictures Digital now deals primarily with special effects and animation.

A rep said the studio decided to end the VOD effort because it was unable to sign up additional sudsers for the service beyond the three with which it launched.

Soapcity has significantly scaled back from its heady growth plans a few years ago, when it signed major content partnerships, launched VOD and moved into e-commerce and the convention biz. Site has ended its deal to provide content for Yahoo and now focuses on soap opera news and hosting official sites for Sony-produced sudsers.

Soapcity VP and general manager Mary Coller ankled several months ago.

Sony is focusing on licensing its content to other Netcos and is considering deals for other sites to put its soap operas online.

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