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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Sony

How did Sony Develop into the media giant it is?
Sony is a multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, and one of the world's largest media conglomerates with revenue of $78.88 billion U.S.
The Sony Group is in a business that has 5 operating segments – electronics, games, entertainment (films and music), financial service and other. These make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony’s principle business operations include the Sony Corporation (Sony Electronics in the U.S), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Ericsson, and Sony Financial.

The company originates from a developed company building electronic broadcasting and recording equipment, to a one that also had the software to play or record into, thus potentially, cutting out the middle man and maximising profits.

In 1989, Sony acquired Columbia Pictures Entertainment, the American Film and television company – it could now make films with Sony equipment that could be watched in homes and (in some cases, Sony-owned) cinemas on Sony hardware. Along with that, it had acquires Columbia’s back catalogue to be realised on Video and DVD, which could be played on Sony hardware.

Sony has since created numerous other film production and distribution units, such as Sony Pictures Classics for art-house fare, by forming Columbia TriStar Pictures after merging Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures in 1998, and expanded its growth on April 8, 2005, when a consortium led by Sony acquired the legendary Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in a deal worth nearly $5 billion. Again, in an ideal world, the back catalogue releases would be played on Sony equipment.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment manufactures and distributes the Sony film library on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, video cassette, and UMD forms to global markets.

The Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group has a library of more than 4,000 films, and as of 2004 this unit of Sony distributes about 22 films a year under its various studio brands in 67 countries. The group owns studio facilities in the United States, Hong Kong, Madrid, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Japan. In addition to the company-owned brands, Columbia TriStar also has a contract to distribute films for independent Revolution Studios and select films by MGM and United Artists.

Profits from its major studio successes allow it to back smaller, independent films through its companies like Destination Films, a "niche" motion picture company purchased by Sony in 2001 and Stage 6 Films, a direct to video/DVD label created in 2007.

It is hard for a cinema chain to exhibit its products; it has Sony Pictures Home Entertainment: Manufactures and distributes the Sony film library on Blu-ray Disc (a Sony product) and DVD. It has its own film distribution companies around the world, so it doesn’t have to look for a distributor abroad.

It also owns Sony Music Entertainment, formed by successive mergers of various other companies, including Columbia Records, Epic and RCA. In 2008 Sony agreed to acquire the German company Bertelsmann's 50% stake in Sony BMG. Sony completed its acquisition of Bertelsmann Music Group on October 1, 2008. The company Sony Music Entertainment Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sony Corporation of America.

Artists signed to Sony can be found on Sony produced soundtracks of Sony films, like Spider-Man (2002), for example. If you like Chad Kroeger, you may go out and buy music from his band Nickleback on Road Runner Records, which is owned by Sony, or perhaps you enjoyed Aerosmith on the Spider-Man soundtrack, in which case, you might prefer to buy CDs from their back catalogue, which is owned by Sony!

Another branch of the company, Sony Pictures Digital oversees the digital production and online entertainment assets of Sony Pictures Entertainment, consists of Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Mobile, Sony Pictures Digital Networks and others. It is known as the digital website interactive creator for SPE. Sony Pictures Digital designed websites for Sony Pictures, Screen Gems Network, SoapCity, Sony Pictures Imageworks, GSN, among others for SPE. Again, rather than look for a third party to do the work, Sony has its own facilities for digital production and special effects and can promote its product on company created websites. In fact, it also serves other companies who pay Sony to do what they can’t – Sony Pictures Imageworks provides special effects – at a profit – for non-Sony movies too.

Another branch of the company, Sony Computer Entertainment, specialises in the production of hardware and software for ‘video’ and pc games, which often promote Sony (or Sony-licensed) product, like Spider-Man.

In 2001 Sony joined with the Swedish company Ericsson to manufacture mobile phones. The stated reason for this is to combine Sony’s consumer electronics expertise with Ericsson’s technological leadership in the public sector. They now produce phones on which Sony movies can be watched, Sony websites can be accessed, Sony music can be listened to and Sony games can be played.

A recent move has seen a Sony deal with the major cinema chain AMC to install its digital projectors in all of the company's screens by 2012.

How did the release of the first Spider Man film show the advantages of Synergy?
The film Spider Man show the advantage of synergy because it has the advantage of being a comic book beforehand, and that would mean that most people will already know what it was., and therefore have more viewers. This would mean that it would increase the popularity of the movie and it would gain the company a more valuable profit.
The Spider-Man films had toys of web shooters and figures of the characters made, as well as posters and games. The NBC sitcom 30 Rock often shows the power of synergy, while also poking fun at the use of the term in the corporate world.
Sony recalled teaser posters which showed a close-up of Spider-Man's face with the New York skyline (including, prominently, the World Trade Center towers) reflected in his eyes. This would allow superstition to arise to what this is about, and have more of a curiosity to go and see the film.
Before Spider-Man's British theatrical release in June 2002, the BBFC gave the film a '12' certificate. Due to Spider-Man's popularity with younger children, this prompted much controversy. The BBFC defended their decision, arguing that the film could have been given a '15'. Despite this, North Norfolk and Breckland District Councils, in East Anglia, changed it to a 'PG', and Tameside council, Manchester, denoted it a 'PG-12'. The United States rated it "PG-13". In late August, the BBFC relaxed their policy to '12A', leading Sony to re-release the film.
This showed that it was the way forward as it meant that the films were getting more viewers as a product of the other material that might have already been released in the UK.

It will help if you can define the following terms:
Synergy:
is the promotion and sale of a product (and all its versions) throughout the various subsidiaries of a media conglomerate e.g. films, soundtracks or video games. Walt Disney pioneered synergistic marketing techniques in the 1930s by granting dozens of firms the right to use his Mickey Mouse character in products and ads, and continued to market Disney media through licensing arrangements. These products can help advertise the film itself and thus help to increase the film's sales. For example, for the first Spider-Man film, the soundtrack consisted of artists signed to Sony-Columbia, which would effectively promote the artists, the movie and, ultimately, increase revenue for Sony. The video for the theme song, by Chad Kroeger, featured scenes from the movie, thus promoting it. Although Kroeger's band, Nickleback, is signed to the independent Road Runner Records, it is actually owned by Sony-Columbia! At the time, Sony even co-owned its own cinema chain in which to show its films; although this is no longer the case, the company has struck a deal with cinema chain AMC, the second largest in North America, to install its digital cameras in all of its screens.
Convergence:
Is the integration of previously separate technologies to achieve a particular aim - here, of course, it's to make, distribute, promote and exhibit a movie. In Sony's case, this has been achieved by developing the strengths of their own company, by acquiring other companies - or at least coming to a financial arrangement with them, which was the case with Marvel Comics (recently bought by Disney) and the making of Spider-Man, and branching out into areas of new technology, such as Sony Pictures Digital, which oversees digital production and the creation of websites to promote films and other products. On top of this, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment manufactures and distributes the Sony film library on Blu-ray Disc (which was co-created by Sony and which has seen off HDDVD, forcing other companies to adopt Blu-ray) and DVD.
Vertical and Horizontal integration:
Vertical Integration - When a company expands its business into areas that are at different points of the same production path.
Horizontal Integration - When a company expands its business into different products that are similar to current lines.

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