Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How significant have convergence, synergy and vertical integration been in the development of Sony and its ability to produce, promote and distribute films?

Sony has development vastly over time, from very creation of the company – 1945 in a bombed-out building, to the recent inventions by Sony such as the Playstation and Vaio, both of which are largely popular and famous products of Sony from the 21st century. There are five major film companies that have dominated over UK film industry: Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century Fox, Buena Vista, United International Pictures, and Sony. Sony has been made a media giant as it is due to the factors that they have taken to become a ‘parent company’. They used techniques such as convergence, synergy and vertical-integration to help produce, promote and distribute films.
                                Spider-Man is probably the best example to denote the techniques that was used to makes this blockbuster film a hit. At the time in which Spider-Man was advertised, Sony used a variety of techniques to promote the film. They created an advertisement that would help encourage people to watch their product but also reach to those audiences that don’t watch this genre of films and make them want to watch the film. This was a particularly successful technique as a large variety of audience were seen watching or buying this product in the cinema or in the shops for the DVD.
                                In the beginning, Marvel comic book publishers have licensed the Spiderman rights to Sony/Columbia Tri-Star Pictures for a substantial amount of money. Sony is now able to use Marvel’s Spiderman in their films. Marvel can also get money through helping out with the merchandise of the film. With Marvel being said, they also worked with Activision – which is a popular gaming company, to create a Spider-Man video game. They used the voices of the film to help create their video game which linked the film to the video game. By selling the games in SONY Playstations, it generated a profit for all three companies. Marvel also teamed up with Toy Biz to allow them to produce toy merchandise from the comic and film. This is an example of Convergence as Sony became successful in by developing the strengths of their company, by acquiring other companies. This was achieved by financially arranging an agreement with another company such as Marvel (which they did for Spider-Man) this allows them to create the Spider-Man film, they also worked together to create a promotional website for the film and other Spider-Man merchandise.
                                Synergy was also used in the distribution of Spider-Man. They have successfully achieved this technique by promoting and selling products throughout various subsidiaries of a media conglomerate, e.g video games, soundtracks, films etc. They have done this by releasing a soundtrack via their own company, Sony Music. This allowed them to use big name artists under their publishing label. The main theme music for spider-man was created by Chad Kroeger – his band is called “Nickelback” which is signed to Roadrunner records, whose parent company is SONY. By putting artist’s names on the large company Sony, they can be promoted as a good musician as they worked with Sony in their past. Walt Disney pioneered synergistic marketing techniques in the 1930s by granting dozens of firms the right to use his Mickey Mouse character in products and ads, and continued to market Disney media through licensing arrangements. This means that companies are able to use Mickey Mouse Characters in their products as long as they have permission through license arrangement.
                                Vertical Integration is another technique of promoting Sony and Spider-man in to the Marketplace. They have carefully taken steps to promote the film. They created trailers that were advertised in Youtube and in the Televisions. They have also created a website for Spider-Man in which people would go online to see when the release and learn more about the film. They also provide features such as the trailers and other interactive features. They also had adverts to promote their merchandise products such as toys, t-shirts, comics and soundtracks.
                                Another film made by Sony-Columbia is The Karate Kid (2010 Remake). This is a more older film as the original was created at 1984, but the remake was a lot more popular as it gained a total gross of $359+ million whereas the original only gained $90+ million. This was simply because they had follow the strengths that they have developed in the time of the creation of Spider-Man. They have also followed the techniques of Convergence, Synergy and Vertical Integration.
                                In the making of the film, they didn’t have to buy the film by a financial agreement. Columbia was the original distributor and producer of the film in which they own the film. And as Sony bought the company, they have a licensed ability in which allows them to take a film from them and do what they want with it due to the mass success of money Sony has. This means they had the money to take the film and remake it, which was a great decision as the Original Karate Kid was a blockbuster film at their time. By remaking this film, they would experience the same income they felt in 1984. They also starred a foreign actor that was famous, Jackie Chan, a well known martial arts actor that was famous for his action films in which he choreographed. This allowed an audience from China, in which Jackie Chan was from. They also boosted that chance of an audience from China by shooting the film in two different sites in China which was where most of the shooting took placed.
                                Synergy was allow used in the distribution of the film. They, just like the original, created merchandise such as posters, t-shirts and other products. This allowed them to gain a bit more money. However people were more interested in the film which meant that the merchandise weren’t as popular as they hoped it would be. They also released a soundtrack for the film, in which they had big name artists to create the music for them and even performed by them. This allowed the artist who participated in the soundtrack to get recognition and be a lot more successful under the name of Sony Music.
                                They also have a Vertical Integration technique by having trailers all over the web. Websites like Youtube,, and the television channels. They also created a website for this in which users of the internet can check details and watch trailers about the film. They also released a soundtrack about the film called “Never say never” by an actor in the film and a famous artists from the US. This was a hit song as it promoted the film and got people to watch the film. The video that came with the soundtrack featured scenes from the film which relates back to the film for people to watch, it also contains various action/violence in which also relates to the genre of the film. Therefore they gained more money from the soundtrack and from the audience who watched the film from listening to the song.

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