Despite its early advantages the ‘Betamax’ format eventually lost out to the ‘VHS’ format. Identify and analyse the flaws in Sony’s strategy. What steps might they have taken to achieve a more favourable outcome?
The 1970’s and 1980’s saw one of the biggest…
Further on, a conclusion is drawn and suggestions are made regarding the steps Sony could have taken to ensure growth and success with the betamax.
Sony introduced its first system – Betamax in 1975. This was extremely famous among consumers. Sony had demonstrated Beta – a videotape recording system, to be a single format for all. Sony came up with Betamax, which was developed with the best audio and video quality. They were the first to offer the technology, however they did not give much attention to the requirements of the customers. Sony provided a recording length of less than 60 minutes, which was not enough to record a movie (Format War, 2008). Betamax format focused on quality of recordings not realizing that the consumers’ focus was on recording time and ease information transfer. This was one of the factors that brought the decline of Betamax (Wielage and Woodcock, 1998). Sony was quickly followed by JVC’s Video Home System (VHS), which decided to go with its own format and lead to a format war. Sony faced a lot of competition from many manufacturers like Quasar’s – Great Time Machine, Sanyo’s – V-cord and the biggest competition from JVC’s VHS. The Great time Machine and V- cord eventually faded away, leaving VHS and Betamax battling for years (Moulding, 1996).
Sony’s biggest drawback was the fact that they had not done enough research into the markets before they developed the Betamax and they felt that the product would surely sell because it was developed by them. They believed that betamax was strongly backed by their brand name and the quality of the audio and video in the betamax (Sony History, 2008). However, this egoistic approach caused them to loose the format war against JVC’s VHS. This failure due to techno arrogance simply showed Sony’s failure to understand how the technology market really ...
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