So looks like Sony’s making a change at the top.
Mr. Stringer has a tough job. Here’s what I’d do if I were him.
1. Bag the low-end low-cost consumer electronics hardware. It’s already been commoditized, and you can’t compete with grey-label companies out of China making $49 DVD players.
2. Focus on style, design, and high-end stuff for discerning customers. Open a chain of Sony-branded retail stores like Apple.
3. Kill all of your proprietary standards right now and continue to embrace more widely accepted standards.
4. Drive interoperability among DRM systems really really hard. There’s no way DRM will work if we continue to have the current situation in which content from certain sources can only be played on certain devices.
5. Force your content arms–Sony BMG Music and Sony Pictures–to ease up on their DRM restrictions. Make way more unprotected material available. Embrace and drive new and experimental business methods like legalized, royalty-based file sharing. Stop using the RIAA to sue your customers. Let your artists build deeper relationships with their fans now, and long-term, your content sales will go up.