In Hollywood’s streaming wars, the only major studio that doesn’t have its own service might also be the biggest arms dealer on the battlefield.
Like its rivals, Sony Pictures Entertainment is optimistic about the long-term prospects for the streaming business. However, unlike the others, Sony’s management is betting on a strategy that involves selling movies to longtime rivals who are spending billions of dollars to increase offerings on their platforms.
At the same time, without its own large-scale streaming service, Sony’s movie studio, owned by Sony Group Corp., is betting more than its competitors on the return of cinema. Sony executives describe their commitment to cinemas as part of a strategy to attract talent and secure high prices when they sell movies to streaming services, which often pay based on box office revenue.
Rather than go head-to-head with the Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures, all of which are trying to use movies they have produced to entice consumers to their own streaming services, Sony says it hopes be able to do it. play those counterparts with each other.
“None of them can deal with each other, but they can all deal with us,” said Tom Rothman, president and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, adding that his company’s future will be well served by selling to rivals. “It has certainly been a zigzagging strategy where everyone moves. It has proven to be very lucrative for us. “