By Sam Nussey
TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Group Corp said on Wednesday that its status as an independent provider of content to streaming services is paying off at a time when platform operators are coming under pressure to demonstrate profitability.
“Our decision years ago to stay out of the crowded general streaming space and instead become the become the industry’s leading independent content supplier was clearly the right choice,” Tony Vinciquerra, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, told an investor briefing.
Hits from the Japanese tech entertainment conglomerate on streaming platforms include “The Last Of Us” on HBO Max, “Cobra Kai” on Netflix and “For All Mankind” on Apple TV+.
Conglomerates have spent billions on programming to feed their streaming platforms but are under scrutiny from Wall Street as focus shifts from subscriber growth to profitability.
That is leading to pressure on production budgets with streaming platform operators also looking at repositioning as content suppliers.
“Sony Pictures remains in the strongest possible position as evidenced by our ability to provide content to any and all partners and platforms,” Vinciquerra said.
Sony owns anime streaming service Crunchyroll as it looks to capitalise on growing global enthusiasm for such content following the success of series such as “Demon Slayer”.
Higher Crunchyroll sales along with more theatrical releases as consumers return to cinemas are forecast to drive an 11% growth in sales to 1.52 trillion yen ($11.26 billion) this year with operating profit roughly flat year-on-year.
Upcoming movie releases include Ridely Scott’s “Napoleon” which will screen in theatres before streaming on Apple TV+.
($1 = 135.0500 yen)
(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing)