Since I have been ranting recently, I thought I would keep up the trend by sharing my thoughts on what I think is the biggest failing to capitalize on existing market share in recent history, namely Sony.
Sony is in to everything, and I mean everything. They make a list of consumer electronic devices longer than my arm. Everything from TVs, to video disc players (Blu-Ray and DVD), music players (does anyone else remember when ALL portable music players were called "Walkmans", way before the iPod), phones, video game systems, computers, e-book devices, cameras, video and still, the list is exhausting. Sony also produces movies, television programs, and music. I probably don't even know half the different content production environments they have their fingers in. So, why are they not leveraging the hardware to distribute their content?
Okay, I know they had the now defunct Sony Connect for a while, and it never took off, but let's face it. Sony killed Connect because of their fear that it would eat into CD sales. Look how that has worked out for them. Now they have BD Live, but again, it's just another example of a venture setup to fail by it's over-lording siblings. Sad really.
If Sony was really interested they could create a system like Apple has in about a year. If they created an iTunes competitor for centrally distributing all of their media content (music, movies, television, etc), they would start off with a HUGE selection of content. I don't know how the other music and movie studios would respond to such a move, but they are old stick-in-the-muds anyway. Next they would create a consistent UI for accessing this content on each of their devices, not just a few here and there, they would have a way to download songs to every phone, mp3 player, or stereo receiver they make without using a computer. Then they would add an interface for accessing movies and television from every TV, disc player, or computer that they make. The consumer would use the same account for downloading their content on any of their Sony-made devices. Sony would control the production, distribution, and consumption of its media empire through its electronics empire.
That scares me a little as a consumer, but I have so little faith in their ability to actually manifest such a media coupe, that I can honestly say that I would like to see them at least try, in a meaningful way, without handicapping the system from the start. By the time they actually realize that their old way of selling content is disappearing too fast for them to replace the revenue streams with new ones, they will probably be so far behind companies like Apple and Amazon that they will have to subject themselves to the terms set by the retailers, instead of setting the terms themselves like they have done for so long.
Whither big media, you deserve to die a slow agonizing death.