Tuesday, 24 January 2012

How significant have convergence, synergy and vertical integration been in the development of Sony and it’s ability to produce, promote and distribute films? Make reference to Spider-Man and your own choice of recent releases. You must consider DVD and BluRay as product too.

Sony is one of the biggest film companies dominating the UK. It first started out in 1989 when they took over Columbia Pictures Entertainment. They aren’t just a well-known company in the film industry, they are also known for their range of digital technology
Since the company was founded, it came out with a range of products, from PC’s to PlayStations. Whilst they produce, promote and distribute films worldwide, convergence, synergy and vertical integration are important parts of doing so. They make great profits each time, with a huge genre range of movies.

Spider-Man is an example of how Sony uses these conventions to release films. It uses synergy as a film usually has a soundtrack, video games or toys etc... For example, with the soundtrack; it is sung by a famous band – who are also signed by Sony - therefore it immediately gained the bands fans as an audience. The music video will also feature scenes from the movie, but will not give away too much, making viewers want to see the movie. If the movie is successful, they most likely will release toys and video games. Sometimes they even release them before the film, to get people excited for the film and Sony gets a maximum profit. Posters and adverts are also a main part in promoting the film. Adverts/trailers are shown during main times when most people will be watching TV, and usually on most watched channels such as; ITV, BBC One, BBC Two, Channel 4 and Channel Five. This again, is usually played with the soundtrack playing in the background; therefore if people recognise the artist then they’d want to see it.

‘Friends with Benefits’ is another example of how Sony uses synergy and convergence to promote a film. For this film, social networking sites played a key role in distributing the movie, as they had Facebook pages which would keep users and fans up to date, and also on twitter too, as well as promoting it on the ‘trending topics’ worldwide. They sometimes have competitions on official Facebook pages or official websites, to give people a chance to win free tickets or free games, which gives the audience a sense of ownership towards the movie. Companies like Orange also had competitions to win merchandise; this would be giving Orange more business and more viewers for the movie. Posters were also used to promote the movie, they would be released and shown way before the movie had been released, to build up the excitement with the audience.

Sony is a vertical integrated as it has many sub-companies, which have been bought or created by them. In the long run, this profits Sony as, for example; they do not need to buy any equipment as they will own companies who have the equipment… therefore it’s theirs. They could also own companies which promote films, which would therefore give the free promotion. They would profit even further by this as it would do better at the box office and on DVD/BluRay sales. A good example of this would be the soundtrack of a movie, which is usually, sang by someone signed by Sony or one of the sub-companies. This could lead to that artist promoting the movie on their twitter or Facebook page, in result; more profit for Sony. Sony began to release films in BluRay, as they co-created it and BluRay products; this forced other companies into creating BluRay products too. It became a very popular product, and many more people bought BluRay discs of their movies. However, Spider-Man is not a good example of this, as Sony did not release this movie as a BluRay, if they did they could have had a much larger profit, as it could have enticed more customers to buy one of their BluRay DVD players.

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