Revenue: $9.3 billion
Operating Income: $199 million
Sony Corp. of America, which houses the bulk of its Japanese parent’s entertainment assets, is still grappling with the challenge of developing lucrative synergies between its content and the sister electronics business that sets is apart from its peers in Hollywood.
With no major mergers or acquisitions under its belt (although the market continues to speculate on a spinoff and a deal with NBC), Sony seems focused on smaller steps and alliances. The company just inked a multiyear pact with Yahoo! to create a new portal that can be accessed by Sony devices. The agreement also involves branding, promotion and e-commerce. Sony Pictures will feature several upcoming pictures on Yahoo!, as Warner Bros. does with America Online.
After a ho-hum first half, Sony Pictures is anticipating a blockbuster year in 2002 with “Spider-Man” and sequels to “Men in Black” and “Stuart Little.” Studio topper John Calley is set to retire this fall, and it’s still far from clear who will succeed him. Sony’s ties to Joe Roth’s Revolution Studios fuels speculation that the former Walt Disney studio head might take the job.
Sony Music, like Warner Music, had a slow year so far amid a general decline in the biz. Label blames the release schedule and a downturn in key markets. Some industryites say the biz finally hit the end of the CD revolution, which boosted sales for years, with no new technology taking its place.