After launching the PlayStation in 1998, establishing Sony Pictures in 1991 and re-establishing Sony Music Entertainment in 2008 Electronics Giant Sony has finally decided to put all the pieces together with their premium consumer electronics. We believe there will be one control tower for cloud based content distribution and it will be the 2011 announced Sony Entertainment Network. Parent company Sony Electronics will carefully make sure everything is knitted closely so there is a lot of expectation with this new strategy.
What seemed obvious from the outside took much more time for Sony to realize. When smart devices took off Sony had seen the world pass by. Apple iPods replace their Walkmans, Samsung TVs replace Bravia TV, Xbox replace Playstation, iPhones and Galaxy S phones replaced Walkman phones and Cybershot phones. Underlying the “smart” trend there was a “cloud” trend and “content” trend. It wasn’t just about smarter processors it was about what those devices could do and it was about the content it was able to access. The most popular content was Web based content and Apple was leading this trend.
Of the traditional giants Sony was in the best position to fight this but it wasted at least 5 years due to its fragmented business units all operating separately. Samsung although lacking resources in content, software and services on the other hand was tightly integrated with a firm control tower thus making the best of its products and offerings.
We’re seeing some real activity from Sony Entertainment Network this year and it’s Sony’s move toward offering a “connected life” concept to consumers and it has a very good chance at working the magic. It has all the ingredients now, but again the management team will have to have firm vision and execution plans for a good debut. Currently the offerings are just music and video, but hopefully we’ll see integrated games and apps to follow.