Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

What Kind of Web Video Plans Does Sony Have? (Video)

Sony has everything you’d need to launch an interesting video service: Its TVs, DVD players and game machines are already in millions of living rooms. It owns a big Hollywood studio. And while it has taken a beating over the past few years, it has plenty of cash to fund big bets.

So no surprise that Sony is yet another company reportedly exploring “over the top” Web video. And even if it doesn’t end up launching a full package of cable-like TV programming, it seems quite reasonable to assume it’s going to be doing something with video this year.

And that’s more or less what Sony executive Tim Schaaff said near the end of the brief chat I had with him yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Schaaff is the former Apple executive hired by Howard Stringer six years ago to knit all his media and electronics businesses together. If you don’t want to hear his thoughts about his new music subscription business, or what the cloud means for Sony versus Google, Amazon, Apple, etc., skip ahead to the four-minute mark on this video.

That’s where Schaaff refuses to say that Sony is looking to get into a Netflix-style subscription business. But he does say he would love to have me “paying for video on a regular basis.”

“We’re certainly talking to lots of different people about some new possibilities, and I hope that we can have some new announcements for you later in the year.”

The guy making a cameo appearance in the background, by the way, is Sony VP Michael Aragon, who oversees video and music for Schaaff.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald