Updated: PS3 owners can finally access Netflix (s NFLX) on their game consoles again after Sony started to restore the PlayStation Network (PSN) over the weekend, but they shouldn’t expect any grand welcome back gestures from the streaming video company. Netflix isn’t offering any discounts or refunds to people affected by the PSN outage, I was told by a spokesperson today.
That’s a stark contrast to Sony, (s SNE) which plans to offer all kinds of goodies to make up for the four-week outage. PSN members will receive a free month of PSN Plus membership, and PSN Plus members will also get a month of PSN Plus access for free. Sony is also offering one year of free identity theft protection, and various other goodies for gamers that couldn’t play online during the outage.
Hulu Plus subscribers affected by the outage can also expect some goodwill gestures from the company. Hulu has been sending emails to subscribers that have previously accessed their Hulu Plus subscription through the PS3 with an offer to credit them for at least part of the time missed. Update: A Hulu spokesperson told us that the company is offering a credit fpor the full duration of the entire outage.
Of course, the PSN being inaccessible for a month as a result of a successful hacker intrusion was Sony’s fault alone. Netflix, or Hulu for that matter, aren’t obligated to give out any credits to make up for their service being unavailable through a platform they don’t control.
However, the whole episode does put a spotlight on the flip side of media consumption in a world dominated by online app platforms: This time, it hit Sony. But Netflix and Hulu Plus users would be equally affected if hackers decided to take down Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Xbox Live tomorrow. Dedicated media players like Boxee are also based on online services, meaning Netflix users could be left in the rain in the event of an outage as well.
So who should compensate end users if third-part apps aren’t accessible? The app maker, or the platform provider? Let us know what you think in the comments!