Wed, Jan. 28, 3:52 PM
- Sony (NYSE:SNE) is shuttering its Music Unlimited streaming service (had seen limited uptake, from all indications) in favor of an alliance with Spotify: The online music giant will power a new service called PlayStation Music, with the offering initially launching on the PS3, PS4, and Xperia phones/tablets.
- PS4 users will be able to have Spotify music serve as the soundtrack for their games. The PS3 and PS4 respectively have installed bases above 80M and 18M.
- Pandora (NYSE:P), already dealing with concerns about active listener growth and competition, has slumped below $17 following the news, which comes eight days before the company's Q4 report. Pandora has long argued Spotify's subscription streaming services aren't a major threat to its personalized Web radio services.
Tue, Jan. 27, 2:57 PM
- The Nikkei reports Sony (SNE -1.1%) plans to cut another 1K smartphone jobs, mostly in China and Europe. Smartphone layoffs of similar size were announced in October, and 1.5K Japanese job cuts (for various divisions) were announced last week.
- The paper adds Sony's mobile unit will see its workforce cut by ~30% by March 2016, to 5K. The cuts are expected to be announced during the conglomerate's Feb. 4 FQ3 report.
- With Sony facing tough high-end competition from Apple in Japan, and intensifying mid-range competition from Chinese OEMs elsewhere, the company's mobile revenue only rose 1.2% Y/Y in FQ2 to $2.83B. Its FY15 (ends March '15) smartphone unit forecast has been gradually cut to 41M from 50M.
Fri, Jan. 23, 4:47 AM
- Sony (NYSE:SNE) will delay the official submission of its third-quarter results due to the massive cyber attack on Sony Pictures, and has asked financial regulators to extend the filing of its report to Mar. 31 from Feb. 16.
- The company will still hold a news conference on Feb. 4, the originally scheduled date of its results announcement, to give updated financial forecasts for the quarter.
Wed, Jan. 21, 9:14 AM
Wed, Jan. 21, 7:12 AM
Wed, Jan. 21, 4:50 AM
- Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) entertainment unit investigated its Indian operations for possible legal violations including bidding fraud and kickbacks, according to internal e-mails released by hackers, Bloomberg reports.
- The probes put a spotlight on the company's business practices in India, one of Sony’s key regions, where it generates more revenue from TV programming than in any other market.
Fri, Jan. 16, 3:58 PM
Thu, Jan. 15, 9:17 AM
- The eight films nominated for the best picture of the year earned a combined $422.4M at the box office, according to BI's Jon Erlichman.
- The tally looks light compared to the $257.8M The Lego Movie (no Best Animated Feature nom!) took in for Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) in the U.S. and $468.76M globally.
- If any movie catches extra post-Oscar box office traffic, it will be Foxcatcher from Sony Classics (NYSE:SNE), say some media analysts. Although, they also note in recent years the Oscar bounce has been minimal.
- Full Academy Award nomination list
Fri, Jan. 9, 5:32 PM
- Citing sky-high import tariffs, Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) will no longer sell hardware or software in Latin America's largest country (population of 200M).
- Exec Bill van Zyll: "Brazil is an important market for Nintendo and home to many passionate fans ... But unfortunately, challenges in the local business environment have made our current distribution model unsustainable in the country."
- The console/game vendor will "continue to monitor the environment in the country so that we can evaluate future opportunities." Rival Sony (NYSE:SNE) has also been hit hard by Brazilian tariffs: The PS4 cost $1,845 in Brazil when it went on sale in the country in 2013.
Thu, Jan. 8, 6:56 AM
Thu, Jan. 8, 2:36 AM
- Defending the U.S. claim that North Korea was responsible for hacking Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE), the director of the FBI offered fresh details describing the cyber attack.
- The "Guardians of Peace" used proxy services to disguise their location when sending emails threatening Sony employees and posting statements online explaining their work, but "several times...they connected directly and we could see them," he said.
- Last Friday, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on North Korea in response to the attack.
Wed, Jan. 7, 9:20 AM
Tue, Jan. 6, 5:51 PM
- Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) says it took in $31M in VOD sales from The Interview.
- The tally includes rentals and purchases from YouTube, iTunes, and Xbox Video up until January 4th.
- Screening at indie theaters brought in another $5M for the studio.
- The straight-to-VOD release of The Interview due to threats from the Sony hackers has been a test case for the movie industry as it eyes shortening the theatrical window even more or pushing out more simultaneous releases.
Mon, Jan. 5, 10:32 PM
- Cumulative PS4 sales were above 18.5M as of yesterday, Sony (NYSE:SNE) discloses at CES. That means 5M units have been sold since the end of October, when sales stood at 13.5M.
- Xbox One sales, for reference, stood at 10M in November. Microsoft slashed prices by $50 in early November in an attempt to boost holiday season demand.
- Around the time of the PS4's launch, IHS estimated CPU/GPU supplier AMD received $100 per PS4 shipment. Today's price might be lower, given chip ASPs typically drop over the sales life of a console. Regardless, with AMD's Q4 revenue consensus only at $1.24B (-22% Y/Y), it's likely quite happy to hear Sony's sales figure.
- Also: 1) Sony has refreshed its Android Wear-based SmartWatch 3 (launched in September), providing it with a stainless steel body. The watch's display and processor remain the same. 2) Sony states all of its 2015 Bravia TV models will run on Google's recently-launched Android TV platform.
- Prior CES coverage
Mon, Jan. 5, 12:57 PM
- Dish Network (DISH -2.2%) says its new OTT Internet TV service will price at $20 per month.
- The Sling TV package includes content from ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, ABC Family, HGTV, TNT, Food Network, Travel Channel, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and videos produced by Maker Studios.
- The reveal was made at a press conference in front of the Consumer Electronics Show.
- The launch of online TV packages has some bearing on Netflix (NFLX -4.8%), although there's plenty of support for the idea that the company's streaming service will be an add-on to new OTT players.
- More details from Sony (SNE -1.5%) are expected at CES on its PlayStation Vue which includes cable networks untethered from the pay-TV bundle.
Dec. 31, 2014, 8:42 AM
- Streaming: Sony (NYSE:SNE), HBO (NYSE:TWX), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Dish Networks (NASDAQ:DISH) are set to unveil streaming products in 2015. The theory of the companies that the skinny bundles will draw in more cord-cutters and cord-nevers than they will cannibalize current pay-TV subscribers will be put to the test. The rush of streaming options could help or hurt Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) depending upon which analysis an investor leans on.
- Theater traffic rebound: Exhibitors (CNK, RGC, AMC, CKEC, IMAX) and movie studios (LGF, VIA, VIAB, DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, TWX) maintain that the decline in theater attendance in 2014 (-6%) was due to a slate of films light on blockbusters. A bounce is forecast for 2015 with high-profile films such as Avengers: The Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Fifty Shades of Grey, Jurassic World, Spectre (James Bond), and Mission Impossible 5 all set to premiere - along with the reboot of the Star Wars franchise in December. Capex spending on theater upgrades could also help boost in-theater spending and average ticket price for exhibitors.
- Mergers: If regulators allow the Comcast-Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and AT&T-DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) mergers to sail through it could clear a path for other media combinations, note analysts. Potential buyers include Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Wanda Group, Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), and a TWX-rebuffed 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA). Content producers which could be targets include Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), and Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI). A split-up Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) could also be enticing.
SNE vs. ETF Alternatives
Sony Corp is engaged in the development, design, manufacture, and sale of various kinds of electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional and industrial markets as well as game consoles and software.
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