Sony to Launch New Media Download Store

tutvumine eestis
21.11.2009

It’s not hard to see what works for selling digital media online; California’s hugely successful Apple Inc. has proven that with the right leverage, such as control over the most popular portable media player, online fans of music, movies and other forms of digital entertainment are happy to pay for content on a per-download basis – provided the cost is reasonable. The puzzle for Sony then isn’t so much what to build, but rather how to get people to use it.

Sony announced Thursday plans to take another shot at competing with Apple’s popular iTunes online media store. The new attempt will be the second by Sony, who struck out with consumers in 2005 with Sony Connect, a store that was closed in 2007 after internal company squabbles and the store’s failure to catch on with the public.

This time though, Sony has some foundation of success on which to draw; its PlayStation Network has over 33 million registered users, and its new store, which doesn’t yet have an official title, will try to follow up on that success.

Almost every major online company is studying Facebook and the power of social networking from every possible direction, and Sony is no different. The company will look for ways to enhance social interactions on its new media download store in the hopes that early users will create a snowball effect by drawing in friends, family and colleagues.

"It's not just access content, stream it, and enjoy, " said Kazuo Hirai, an executive at Sony. "What are your friends watching right now? There's a screen that says all the programming that's available. It highlights all the things that your friends are watching, for example. It's a community experience."

Sony also has one advantage that Apple does not; the company produces a lot of popular media. Although it hasn’t yet explained how it might leverage that media in support of its own store, Sony isn’t blind to the possibilities that it might be able to leverage content to draw in customers.

"That's the kind of combination that I think is not seen anywhere else, " Hirai told the Associated Press. "That I think is where our core competence lies, and that's a differentiator for Sony."

 

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