Let’s start with some good news: of $5.5 billion in sales, Sony Music Entertainment posted a profit of $463 million last year. With perennial head scratching favorites like Chris Brown and The Fray, along with some of the biggest selling artists of our day like Adele and Beyoncé, Sony has some strong ponies in their stable of potential chart toppers who keep the proverbial stable boys up to their necks in horse shit (a.k.a. money).
Now, the bad news: Sony can’t seem to do anything else right. The larger parent company that includes Sony Music Entertainment posted a record loss of $5.7 billion last year. Sony has been losing ground to competitors creating cheaper and/or cooler electronics in other parts of Asia and in the US for some time now. While just about everyone has or wants an iDevice courtesy of Apple, no one really uses a Walkman anymore. Combine that with the crap that their underwhelming movie division puts out (The Smurfs, Jack and Jill, Zookeeper, to name but three from 2011), and it’s not hard to see why the highly fragmented company isn’t doing so well across all categories.
Add to that the flooding in Thailand that fucked up their supply chain and the earthquake in Japan that crippled production and, well, Sony just couldn’t get a break last year. With featured artists on its music page like American Idol Season 5 sixth place runner-up Kellie Pickler, and universally reviled YouTube ‘sensation’ Karmin, the future of the music division isn’t looking so hot either.
But don’t worry too much — Sony executives are certain that things will turn around by 2013. They’re confident people will want to pay for the more expensive version of the same TV they can get from a Taiwanese competitor for half the price at Costco. And goodness knows the general public has just been desperate for a Spider-Man reboot. Keep chasing the dream, Sony.
• Sony: http://www.sony.com