×

Sony fails to heed Stringer’s advice

Co. turns down Boxee despite open standards

During Sony chairman Howard Stringer‘s keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, Tom Hanks got most of the laughs, mocking the speech that scrolled by on the TelePrompter, which was peppered with plugs for Sony products. (Hanks was at the Vegas gadget fest to promote next summer’s Sony release of “Angels and Demons.”) But Stringer earned a few chuckles of his own when he professed Sony’s undying devotion to open standards, which allow outside developers and vendors to add features easily.

“Open technologies are winning the game,” Stringer said, listing seven strategic initiatives for the media and electronics conglomerate. “Closed systems are being disintermediated.”

This from the company that has embraced and tried to profit from closed, proprietary systems and formats ranging from Betamax to Digital Audio Tape (DAT) to the MemoryStick to the Ultra MiniDisc (UMD), a small silver disc that once held movies that could be played only on Sony’s PlayStation Portable gaming device.

But there was Stringer, claiming that the rise of Linux, an open-source computer operating system that has been growing rapidly, has persuaded Sony that openness is the wave of the future.

“Consumers expect choice, and they expect services to work with any device,” he told the throng assembled in a ballroom at the Venetian.

Ironically, just a few hundred yards away on the trade show floor, start-up company Boxee and its CEO Avner Ronen were showing off their open-source software, intended to make photos, music, and Internet video content easier to navigate on a television, using a remote control. Boxee’s software already runs on Apple computers, AppleTV devices and Linux computers. Ronen says the company had recently been trying to talk to Sony about getting the software to run on the company’s PlayStation 3 game console, but hadn’t made headway.

“They’re not sure whether they like the idea, and they don’t know how it will affect their business model,” Ronen says.

Perhaps not everyone at Sony has gotten Stringer’s memo about openness.

More Music

  • Puerto Rican singer Ozuna poses during

    Ozuna Joins Vin Diesel in 'Fast & Furious 9'

    Ozuna, one of Latin music’s fastest-rising stars, has signed with UTA for representation. And to kick off the relationship, the agency has landed him a role in “Fast & Furious 9.” He is also in talks to join the film’s soundtrack. Justin Lin, who directed “Fast & Furious 6,” returns to direct the ninth installment [...]

  • FrancisGotHeat

    What Does Cannabis Sound Like? 'Sticky Situation' Extracts Music From the Plant

    Snoop Dogg and Ted Chung’s Merry Jane digital media cannabis company has teamed with eOne Music to release the first-ever commercially available song composed from sounds extracted from a cannabis plant. “Sticky Situation,” by producer FrancisGotHeat (Drake, Roy Woods, Bryson Tiller) and R&B singer Anders, both from Toronto, and featuring Los Angeles-based rapper Rich The [...]

  • Warner Chappell Names Shani Gonzales Head of

    Warner Chappell Names Shani Gonzales Head of International, Executive VP of A&R

    Warner Chappell Music today announced the appointment of Shani Gonzales as Head of International, Executive Vice President of U.S., A&R. Based in New York, she will report to the company’s co-chair & CEO Guy Moot. Gonzales was most recently co-head of A&R at BMG U.S. and U.K., following stints at Epic Records and Def Jam. She [...]

  • KeshaSaks x Stonewall Inn collection launch

    Kesha Releases Trailer for ‘Debaucherous Joy’-Filled New Album ‘High Road’

    Kesha is more glittery than ever in the trailer for her new studio album, “High Road.” The eclectic clip, released Monday, heralds the coming of Kesha’s first album since 2017’s “Rainbow.” Amidst vintage clips of the American landscape and snippets of new songs, Kesha explains what to expect during a sit-down interview. “I’ve seen the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content