Sony revealed plans for an aggressive push into providing content directly to customers, while announcing the acquisition of a majority stake in EMI Music Publishing for JPY255 billion ($2.3 billion).
Unveiling a three year strategy, the company said it would focus on increasing its content play; growing its IP portfolio; and running a “sustainable” hardware business focused on profitability at the high end rather than shipping large volumes (a strategy it previously deployed in its Mobile Communication business).
Over the three year period – which began in April 2018 – Sony said it would reinvest JPY2 trillion of its operating revenue split evenly between capex and strategic investment. As part of the new strategy, it announced the acquisition of a further 60 per cent of EMI Music Publishing as its first major buy, a move which takes its total holding to 90 per cent.
Its hardware business – which produces a wide range of devices including cameras, home entertainment equipment and smartphones – will be positioned as a “sustainable and consistent cash-flow generating businesses that enables continued investment in the Sony Group’s growth,” the company said.
In its fiscal year ended March 2018 its branded hardware segment was the driving force behind record profits. However, its mobile unit proved a drag on results, with the company booking a JPY31.3 billion writedown in the value of the business in fiscal Q4.
At the time it said it planned to further reduce shipments to improve profitability for the segment.
In today’s announcement, it added it would also use innovations in its hardware division to support long-term goals to make in impact in artificial intelligence, robotics and medical sectors.