Commentary

Where Did Sony Go Wrong?

Sony Corp. continues to have it rough -- in a marketplace where, in theory, it should have an advantage.

Its smartphone business is suffering, it already sold its personal computer business, and financial results are hurting. The TV manufacturing unit will be spun off -- to separate itself from the other troubled consumer equipment part of the business.

The good news  is that entertainment creation is going on. Still overall, Sony took a $1.2 billion net loss for fiscal second quarter earning period.

In an age where all kinds of business barriers seem to be breaking down in order to connect consumers directly with TV-movie-music entertainment, Sony should be in the driver’s seat. It manufacturers digital consumer video/media devices and produces TV and movie content.

Instead, Sony is in a quixotic state, struggling to compete with the likes of Apple or Samsung in many areas.

Still, Apple has tip-toed into the world of entertainment content with its modest Apple TV unit, as a facilitator of entertainment apps from the digital world. But it has hasn’t moved into content like Sony, which produces TV and movies.
 
Sony’s experience will no doubt warn that just having a decent line of consumer digital devices and entertainment content isn’t enough.  Yet, Sony does have its moments: ontinued strong growth for its Playstation game franchise; a stable and thriving TV division; and even an upstart Internet premium area Crackle, which has gotten a boost from Jerry Seinfeld, no less.

And so it’s on the next endeavor -- an Internet-delivered pay TV service that already has gotten the jump on other similar services by signing on Viacom networks. But Apple, Dish Network, Verizon and Google are in hot pursuit to come up with the same business.

Finally, Sony seems to be a bit ahead of the curve.

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