The Sony chief says the film studio is not for sale


Sony’s film and television studio is not on sale and will remain as an independent player despite a wave of consolidation in the global entertainment industry, according to the Japanese group’s executive director.

The fusion between Discover and WarnerMedia as well Amazon’s potential deal from $ 9 billion for the film studio MGM has rekindled investor interest in the future of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which analysts say could be worth as much as $ 30 billion.

In an interview Wednesday, Sony’s executive director Kenichiro Yoshida said Sony Pictures is crucial to the group’s strategy to become a global provider of content in music, movies, games and animation.

“There is a drastic realignment in the media industry, but I think our strategy of creating content as an independent studio while working with multiple partners will work,” Yoshida said. He added that there had been no change in his view that Sony Pictures should be part of the wider group.

While traditional media groups have moved to build more scale by competing with rivals to compete against Netflix and Amazon, Sony has taken a different approach. Through recent distribution deals with Netflix and Disney, he has strengthened ties with streaming services while investing in niche animation subscription platforms.

Sony Pictures movie franchises include Spider-Man and Jumanji.

Under Yoshida, Sony has also taken steps to more closely link its various entertainment services, including the conversion of popular PlayStation games such as Uncharted in film, or extending successful animation series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba in TV, music and film programs.

“I think the reason we were able to sign good deals with Netflix and Disney is because they were attracted to our PlayStation Productions pipeline. We can strengthen our ability to create content through collaboration across the group.” , said Yoshida.

During a strategy meeting Wednesday, Sony said it will spend 2 ¥ ($ 18 billion) over the next three years with a focus on expanding its entertainment assets and other technologies. In the last three years, it has signed more than $ 5 billion in offerings, including the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing for $ 2.3 billion and a $ 1.2 billion acquisition proposal. AT&T Crunchyroll anime streaming service.

When asked if Sony planned to buy MGM, the movie studio behind it James Bond franchise, Yoshida said the group was still considering opportunities for mergers and acquisitions. “I think MGM has an incredible library [of movies and shows], but everything comes with a price and that needs to be considered, ”he added.

While consolidation in the industry has highlighted the potential value of Sony’s film and TV business, analysts say there may be fewer future buyers for Sony Pictures if an agreement for Amazon to buy MGM passes.

“Over time, we expect Sony to face greater competition for talent and smaller independent home projects specializing in the manufacture and sale of content for streaming services. Demand is high, but supply is growing,” wrote Macquarie analyst Damian Thong in a recent report.

Thong argued that a sale of Sony Pictures would be the best way to get value out of the business so that revenues could be used in sectors such as games, although he admitted that such a move is unlikely.



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