[COLUMN/KOLUMNA] Mind the Gap by Sara Al Hamad: make.believe
5. studenoga 2018.
Sara Al Hamad (22 Članci)
Podijeli

[COLUMN/KOLUMNA] Mind the Gap by Sara Al Hamad: make.believe

ENG

make.believe

Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita – two Sonny-boys that stand behind one of the biggest corporations in the world – Sony. Their enthusiasm and scientific background made possible for the world to listen to music on the go, and record their first family videos, among many other achievements. Their talents and business decisions led to technological discoveries that helped form the world we live in today.

Sony Corporation has many companies under its wing, but the ones with the strongest impact on entertainment industry are gathered under Sony Corporation of America. It all started in the late ‘80s by acquisition of CBS Records and Columbia Pictures, thus forming Sony Music and Sony Pictures. Sony/ATV, the music publishing branch of Sony Corporation, had a bit more fun along the way, flirting with the Beatles inheritance and, believe it or not, Michael Jackson, in person. Besides being an extraordinary musician, Jackson was also a great businessman, making sure he was protecting his copyrights and expanding his catalogue – Mijac Music. It was not until 2016 that Sony bought out his share in Sony/ATV thus becoming the only owner!

The thing I liked most while reading about the history of Sony, was the amount of money and focus that was invested in developing new ideas and technologies. Throughout past two decades, Sony have been investing in a lot of companies, and testing a variety of new ideas. One that seemed quite interesting at first was called Qriocity, but never reached its full potential – to put it mildly.

Since they were keen on new ideas and development, it has never been surprising they were willing to take risks. One such risk, which recently made their bank account severely happy, is called Spotify.

As part of business development, this startup obtained licenses from the majors in the industry, and in return gave them equity in the company. From 2008 until today, most of the majors’ shares were diluted with investment pouring into the platform. All except Sony’s – their shares were not diluted since they acted as something like a VC to Spotify, and their risked really payed off.

In order to clarify what is about to follow, it is important to point out that Sony Music was the branch investing in Spotify. They recently banked 50% of their shares in order to pay for the remaining percentage of EMI Music Publishing, thus basically investing into Sony/ATV music publishing development. This deal made them undoubtedly the biggest music publisher in the world, but the question remains are they the biggest record company, or is that title still reserved for Universal?

In both cases, they are in truly unbelievable positions. They still have shares in Spotify, a company that leads the music streaming market, and which grew by 45.5% over the course of 2017, and is expected to grow even more after the implementation of Music Modernization Act. They own the vast majority of world’s copyright, and they are, at worst, the second biggest record company in the world. All of this makes Sony the number 1 music business corporation. How good this is for the music industry in general, I am not sure; it was quite surprising they were not forced to give up some of their catalogues, and this might end up having an overall detrimental effect on the market.

All in all, ever since they appeared on the market, Sony’s business model proved to be more than sustainable. It’s not that they did not lose; it’s rather the fact that they managed to make the best of every failure, always remaining one step ahead of the competition primarily by using diverse technology. Much of their money went to R&D, and even to this day, they remain as catalysts for change and improvements in the industry. Sony are consistently taking small steps while keeping the bigger picture in mind, so it’s not surprising they recently signed an agreement with Carnegie Mellon University, to collaborate on artificial intelligence and robotics – focusing on food preparation. We will see what they eat in the following years!

Since their first big leap involved the Beatles and Michael Jackson, I thought of honoring them with one song that involves all parties – Enjoy!

HR

make.believe

Masaru Ibuka i Akio Morita, dva Sony dečka, stoje iza jedne od najvećih korporacija na svijetu – Sonyja. Njihov entuzijazam i znanstvena pozadina omogućuju svijetu da slušaju glazbu u pokretu, snimaju svoje prve obiteljske video uratke, između ostalog. Njihovi talenti i poslovne odluke vodili su prema tehnološkim otkrićima koja su pomogla stvaranju svijeta u kakvom danas živimo.

Sony Corporation ima mnogo kompanija unutar svojeg djelovanja, ali one s najsnažnijim utjecajem na zabavnu industriju okupljenje su pod Sony Coproration of America. Sve je počelo kasnih 80-ih godina preuzimanjem CBS Recordsa i Columbia Picturesa, što je prethodilo formiranju Sony Musica i Sony Picturesa. Sony/ATV, odjeljenje Sonyja koje se brine o glazbenom izdavaštvu, tijekom godina stvaranja imalo je dosta zabavan put, flertujući s nasljedstvom Beatlesa i vjerovali ili ne, Michaela Jacksona osobno. Osim što je bio izvanredan glazbenik, Jackson je bio i vrhunski poslovni čovjek, a sve kako bi bio siguran da štiti svoja autorska prava i širio svoj katalog Mijac Music. Od 2016. godine Sony je kupnjom njegovih udjela u Sony/ATV-u postao vlasnik tog kataloga.

Ono što mi se najviše dopalo čitajući o povijesti Sonyja je bila količina novca koji su uložili u razvijanje novih ideja i tehnologija. Kroz posljednja dva desetljeća, Sony je ulagao u dosta kompanija testirajući razne nove ideje. Ona koja se činila dosta zanimljivom na prvu jest Qriocity, ali nikada nije dosegla svoj puni potencijal, blago rečeno. Otkad su bili zainteresirani za nove ideje i razvoj, nikad nije bilo iznenađujuće da su bili voljni i riskirati. Jedan takav rizik, zbog kojeg se znatno povećao iznos na njihovom bankovnom računu, zove se Spotify.

Kao dio poslovnog razvoja, ovaj start up je dobio licence od velikih riba u industriji, a zauzvrat su im dali jednake udjele u kompaniji. Od 2008. godine do danas većina dionica je razrijeđena ulaskom velikih tvrtki u ovu platformu. Osim Sonyjevih, njihove dionice nisu razrjeđene otkad su glumili nešto poput VC-a Spotifyju i njihov rizik se doista isplatio.

Kako bi se razjasnilo ono što je uslijedilo, važno je za istaknuti da je Sony Music bila podružnica koja je ulagala u Spotify. Nedavno su isplatili 50% svojih dionica kako bi platili preostali postotak udjela u EMI Music Publishingu, te su praktički investirali u odjel razvoja glazbenog izdavaštva Sony/ATV-a. Ovaj dogovor im je nedvojbeno donio titulu najveće ribe u glazbenom izdavaštvu, ali ostaje pitanje jesu li i najveća izdavačka kuća na svijetu ili to i dalje pripada Universalu?

U oba slučaja doista su u nevjerojatnoj poziciji. I dalje imaju udjele u Spotifyju, tvrtki koja vodi tržište digitalnih glazbenih servisa, a koje je naraslo za 45,5% postoj za razliku od 2017. godine te se očekuje daljnji rast nakon što se implementirati MMA zakon, odnosno Akt o glazbenoj modernizaciji. Vlasnici su većine autorskih prava u svijetu i dakako su, u najgorem slučaju, druga najveća izdavačka kuća na svijetu. Sve ovo čini Sony brojem jedan u glazbenoj industriji. Koliko je to dobro za glazbenu industriju u cjelini, nisam sigurna; iznenađujuće je kako nisu bili prisiljeni prepustiti jedan dio svojeg kataloga, što će možda dovesti do štetnog djelovanja na tržištu.

Sve u svemu, od trenutka kad su se pojavili na tržištu, Sonyjev poslovni model dokazao se kao održivi model. Nije da nisu izgubili; prije je činjenica da su naučili ono najbolje iz svakog poraza te su uvijek bili korak ispred konkurencije prije svega koristeći drugačiju tehnologiju. Dosta njihovog novca otišao je u R&D i sve do današnjeg dana ostali su katalizatori promjena i poboljšanja u industriji. Sony konstantno korača malim, ali sigurnim koracima, tako da nije iznenađujuće da su nedavno potpisali ugovor s Carnegie Mellon University kako bi surađivali na umjetnoj inteligenciji i robotici, fokusirajući se na pripreme hrane. Vidjet ćemo što će konzumirati u sljedećim godinama.

Od njihovog prvog velikog posla koji je uključivao Beatlese i Michaela Jacksona, htjela sam u njihovu čast pustiti pjesmu koja je nezaobilazna na svim zabavama. Uživajte!