Sony Pictures Entertainment: Life, from the Comfort of Your Screen
Notice the way the media presents the news. How is a story developed afterward? Across social media, a story is shared over and over, allowing for debating, commenting, and plotting. In a nutshell, the business world and much of our essence come down to entertainment. And no one does entertainment better than Sony Picture Entertainment.
Founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka, Sony has survived 8 decades on the market - and grown into one of the most recognizable names in the entertainment industry. Sony, first born in 1946 in Tokyo, was founded as a company for engineering these TV boxes that would drastically shapeshift our reality.
Part of the umbrella company, Sony Pictures Entertainment is a pioneer in the entertainment industry, spreading its movie, gaming, electronics, and virtual reality branches across the globe.
But this global conglomerate didn’t start big. The story of the making is interwoven with simplicity, but the developing details are extraordinarily unique.
Akio Morita & Masaru Ibuka - Founders of the Post-War Entertainment Dream
In the post-war era, humanity needed something to believe in, to be happy about, and forget the fatal global consequences it left behind.
However, Sony didn’t quite start from there. Japanese engineers Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka weren’t even close to bringing TVs to their country. Instead, they founded Sony and registered it as TTK (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). They were visioners but didn’t quite have the capital to launch a successful product just yet.
Initially, they borrowed $500 to launch their first product - a cooker that wasn’t a big hit and only brought $300 to the company. In the 1950s, their first industry-related product - the tape recorder - was released. The demand was so massive the company needed to relocate to a larger facility and hire more workers.
But things got crazy successful when they inserted a transistor piece in the tape recorder, naming the radio “Sony,” short from the Latin word for sound - sonus.
This radio was the stepping stone of Sony. It allowed the company space to further develop its branches across the globe by including TV, sound systems, cameras, and computers.
Building an Empire: The American Branch of Sony
SPA is one of the numerous subsidiaries of the Sony Company. What’s funny is, the company has no clear inception date or founder, since it involves the merging of a few companies in the entertainment business that were taking the lead in the USA at the time.
However, December 21, 1987, has been taken as the official inception and founding date of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Interesting to note, the Coca-Cola Entertainment Business Sector had involved assets and hopes for the building of this highly-successful branch.
Originally known as Columbia Pictures Entertainment Inc, SPE (Sony Pictures Entertainment) is a multi-platform company offering television shows, series, filmed videos, and entertainment services. The company is based in the cradle of the American movie-making industry - Culver City.
The original foundation structure was to be integrated entirely - from TV and media production to studio management, media content distribution, and even cartoon creation and animation. This is why it has been enjoyed by a large population of all ages.
Many SONY CEOs and chairmen have changed over the years, but in the most recent history, Harvard business graduate and businessman, Michael Lynton and Nicole Seligman have placed the modern foundations of the company. Still, both their reigns were short-lived as in 2017, they were replaced by Anthony "Tony" Vinciquerra, who remains in the position to this day.
The Divisions - The Corpus of Sony Picture Entertainment
SPE is an American branch of the global Sony company, based in Tokyo. But it is a multi-divisional company itself, where the main divisions are the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group and Sony Pictures Television.
Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group
The motion picture division of SPE was founded under its original name - TriStar Motion Picture Group in 1998. Since then, the studio has opened offices across 21 different countries globally, and it’s opened towards principles of diversity and inclusion.
This internal division includes more distinctive sectors, like Classic and Animation, Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures, Imageworks, and more.
Spreading its wings for more than 2 decades, the Sony Motion Picture division has grown to be one of the most recognized logos on TV screens. Its enormous film library is filled with content to please every viewer, offering more than 3,500 films - and 12 Oscar winners.
Sony Pictures Television Division
The Sony Pictures Television (SPT) division is actually older than the entire Sony Pictures Entertainment company and dates back to 1947. Founded as Pioneer Telefilms by Ralph Cohn, the division actually inspired the founding of Columbia Pictures - the predecessor of SPE.
Ralph’s father Jack and his brother Hary co-founded Columbia Pictures the following year, 1948 - and the rest is history. Columbia and TriStar merged back in 1984 - but the official Sony Pictures television was not officially formed until 2002.
SPT is a true veteran and pioneer in the field of television, still being the leading content producer and provider in the new millennia. Not only that its content is distributed worldwide - but it also has its own divisions and acquisitions across Europe and UK, Latin America as well as Asia. Some of the top-notch famous TV network channels of SPT include AXN, The Sony Channel, Animax, Sony Movies, and many more.
The Falls and Rises
The COVID pandemic has been the biggest challenge for the movie industry because there were no cinematic premiers and box-office selling tickets.
However, Sony managed to not only survive the pandemic - but use it to climb on the ladder of most successful movies ever, Spiderman, earning a whopping $1.9 billion in revenue.
But at the same time, their subscription deals with popular companies such as Netflix and Amazon have become more challenging and led to the cancellation of numerous programs, shows, and cartoons.
SPE’s most recent October revelation was the world’s biggest virtual production. This step will further open new horizons and potentials in the field of producing and developing TV content, as the entire technology is rapidly evolving towards the use of Virtual Reality in almost every aspect of digital and social media.
Sony Pictures Entertainment Funding and Acquisitions
An outstanding Series A funding took place in November 2000, raising more than $1 million for SPE. Other than this, the company is also funded with Seed and Pre-Seed, as well as Series B and Series C.
The most common type of investors in the main SPE as well as its alumni companies are Investment Banks, Private Equity Firms, Corporate Venture Capital, Venture Capital as well as Micro VC.
The biggest investment SPE made in 2018 was worth an astounding $1 billion. It was made for Quibi - a short-form streaming platform for content media devices and smartphones. But, the moment the project failed, this also became the company’s worst investment to date.
SPE is mostly driven towards investments in the media (67%) as well as digital media sectors (34%). Out of the 8 acquisitions that the company has gathered over its years of existence, the largest one occurred back in 2006, with the acquisition of Crackle - $65 million “heavy”. All in all, Sony Pictures TV has spent $788 million on acquisitions.
Sony Pictures Entertainment Today
SPE has its HQs stationed in Culver City and has its doors open to new investments and partners in the field - eventually providing new job openings and further expansion and growth.
For the future, the famous Sony Pictures Entertainment logo announces upcoming visual experiences, captivating users worldwide. Though American-based, the impact of SPE echoes loud across the entire globe - spreading its services to more than 130 countries.
The sole fact that SPE has become the company behind one of the greatest TV content of today - Game of Thrones, Avatar, and MARVEL’s adventures, etc - speaks volumes of its belovedness among loyal viewers. Trusted by its public since 1947 and onwards, Sony continues to dominate the industry, ensuring its loyal audience always gets the quality content they signed up for. Talk about a loyalty program!