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Sony, Yahoo Sign Major Online Pact

Sony Corp. of America has entered into a broad, multiyear pact with Yahoo in which the companies will launch a joint Web site, share co-branded content and create cross-marketing programs for Sony films and possibly music.

Yahoo will also provide Sony with technical support in the development of a U.S. Group Portal, which will link all of the manufacturer’s online products, services and content including, Sony online games, and a forthcoming Screenblast entertainment site.

Under terms of the deal, the partners will create Sony on My Yahoo, a personalized Web site that will have all the functionality of My Yahoo along with access to Sony news, services and product information. The site will also be used as the default start page for Sony Style Connect, the company’s recently launched Internet access service.

Sony will also begin preloading its Vaio computers with software that will allow consumers to register for personalized Sony and Yahoo content and services, including the new Web site and a co-branded instant messenger program. In addition, Sony’s e-commerce site,, will receive “premier placement” on Yahoo’s shopping pages.

Yahoo will also provide enterprise advisory services to Sony by consulting on the development of the Sony U.S. Portal, a unified gateway to the manufacturers’ collective online offerings. Sony says the portal will be a “significant step” toward its ultimate goal of creating an interconnected Web community using Sony devices.

In making the announcement, Sony Corp. chairman/CEO Nobuyuki Idei cited Yahoo’s expertise in Internet communications, customer relationship management, platform scalability and personalization as key to “helping Sony quickly develop a world-class site and seamless customer experience.”