Monday, 28 January 2008

Sony: So, they're good guys?

or, "Justifying Our Respect For Overpriced 'Style-Gadgets'".

Thanks to David Kusek and Gerd Leonhard in The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution - this book I'm now reading, which Alex (my friend next door, who's doing his MA in Music Business) lent me - I realised something which is kind of evident if you think about it for a second: the digitization of music all started with the invention of the CD! How insightful, eh...

So, was it pretty much Sony's insight that kick-started the 'future of the entertainment business'? I want that to be true, because Sony is my man. Yes, following my theory (shared by Than, to give credit where credit's due) that all major gadget companies have a 'gendered' persona attached to them, Canon is a woman (oh, how I love the XL1's curves), Motorola is a lipstick-wearing Cosmo-girl, LG is the grrl that hangs out with guys, Nokia is your typical 'nice guy' that's nice to men and women alike, Nintendo is a teenage whiz kid, et cetera et cetera, with Sony, oh yes, being a hunky 'man's man'. It would explain Sony's business model as well, for me, if it was something they actually did 'on purpose'.

You see, I've always viewed Sony as a company that brought out innovative, cool stuff - a label that even the failed experiment of the MiniDisc falls under. I have also always viewed it as a company that over-prices things you desperately want anyway, for some weird, unexplained reason (as with the Sony Vaio range... Come on, they're just laptops! Check each one's specs-for-price relationship). I must admit to having respected Sony since the invention of the CD, what was the first in a long line of tech-crushes [yes, I've been an mp3-supporter since the previous millenium, but I was just a kid when CDs came out].

Explaining mu respect for them is really something that will set my mind at ease, on some level. Does Sony actually overprice things because it sees the industry's days as being numbered? And do they also fund research in tech-coolness not merely for them to invent cool tech that they can charge too much for, but to guarantee themselves a seat in the (digital) concert of posterity? So they're not evil tempting sons of Satan?

Maybe this is something which most of you here have figured out so many times in the past that it's pretty much evident to you, but it's late at night here now (early in the morning, actually) and I woke up for some weird reason and then wasn't able to fall back to sleep, so I was reading and it hit me and I thought I'd share, if only to get me tired enough to fall back to sleep. I'm done now.

1 comment:

Mel said...

An article that fits in with what I've been reading in the book, by the way, can be found here. Written by a guy who also wrote a similarly spirited book, 'How Pirates Will Change The Entertainment Industry' gives an insightful, credible projection of the maturation of the Internet.