Sony targets 1 billion entertainment users worldwide

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Sony Group Corp. aims to connect with 1 billion users worldwide through its games, anime and other entertainment services, more than six times the current level, as part of its drive to consolidate its foundation as a creative entertainment company.

As part of a business strategy unveiled on Wednesday, Sony said it will spend around 2 trillion yen over the next three years through March 2024 in key growth areas such as entertainment and technology.

Sony has capitalized on the popularity of its PlayStation 5 game console and associated software, as well as the successful animated film based on the popular manga series “Demon Slayer”, co-distributed by an affiliate.

“We want to increase the number of people we connect with to 1 billion, down from 160 million currently,” Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said during an online business strategy briefing, adding that the anime and the games are going “quite well”.

Gaming currently accounts for the bulk of the current customer base with around 100 million users, according to Yoshida. He hasn’t given further breakdowns or revealed when the group aims to cross the billion mark.

“One way to (aim for 1 billion) is to expand what we already have and another is to create new communities of interest,” said Yoshida, referring to the possibility of working with other companies outside the country. group.

The coronavirus pandemic has boosted the group’s sales as people spend more time playing games and using other home entertainment services. The PlayStation 5 has met strong demand since its launch in November, and the Sony Group has set a second-year sales target of 14.80 million units worldwide, even amid a global chip shortage.

Recurring revenue has helped drive the growth of the Sony Group, which offers the PlayStation Plus subscription service and music streaming.

Last year, Sony Corp. has announced plans to buy the operator of the US anime streaming service Crunchyroll, which has millions of registered users in more than 200 countries and regions, for around $ 1.18 billion.

Following a name change from Sony Corp. in April, Sony Group assumed the head office functions of the Japanese conglomerate encompassing financial services, games, entertainment and electronics. The change represents its continued diversification into electronics, which made the brand name popular.

“Technology is important both in terms of content creation and delivery (to consumers),” Yoshida said.

The Sony group has had great success with its image sensors used in smartphones. To foster longer-term growth, the company is placing more emphasis on mobility as a key area where its image sensors can contribute to car safety.

It unveiled a prototype electric vehicle, the Vision-S, and conducted test drives.

“Our contribution to ensuring the safety (of cars) will help them develop into a new sphere of entertainment,” said Yoshida.

During the online press conference, Yoshida refrained from commenting on a media report on a plan for Sony Group and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to build a factory in Kumamoto Prefecture.

But Yoshida said, “Securing stable supplies” of the semiconductors used in its image sensors is essential.

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