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Sony’s Commitment to the Channel

An interview with Jeff Goldstein, head of sales, custom installation channel, Sony Electronics.

Sony Electronics CI

After a seven-year hiatus, in February 2020, Jeff Goldstein rejoined the Sony Electronics team as the Head of Sales, Custom Installation Channel. He is known for his work in helping to develop Sony’s home theater projector line. We recently sat down with Goldstein to learn about his plans and Sony’s commitment to the CI channel.

Cindy Davis: In returning to Sony, what is your main goal?
Jeff Goldstein: This is an area of the business that I’m very passionate about. Over my tenure at Sony, I’ve had many different positions and managed several different business units. I left Sony and went to a couple of different companies outside of the electronics space. When Sony approached me to come back, I felt now was a good time to reengage with this channel that I had spent so many years helping to develop. I hope to bring  new perspectives on the business,  and focus on strengthening the relationships between Sony and our partners.

Davis: How is Sony strengthening its commitment to the CI channel?
Goldstein: As you know, Sony was a founding member of CEDIA. We were active in this channel, going back to CEDIA’s seminal stage. My experience dates back to those early times when Sony began to develop key products and features that lent themselves to better integration. Over the past several years you’ve seen Sony’s programs and products being really well accepted in the industry. The dealer-base has grown significantly in recent years. Sony’s commitment to this industry has only strengthened and we intend to continue to focus on this channel.

My focus and goal is to strengthen the value proposition of being a Sony dealer. There are more enhancements that will make being a Sony Diamond Dealer even more valuable as we look forward. I would say the commitment is as strong as it’s ever been.

Davis: Sony went above and beyond what most did, and created a full trade show booth for the CEDIA Expo Virtual event. Why not just meet dealers in the chat rooms?
Goldstein: As we reviewed the CEDIA virtual platform and how we could communicate to dealers about our line – I felt the best way to do that was to approximate a live booth tour just as we would have done in-person. With the backing of Sony’s management team, we got clearance to erect a version of the Sony booth inside our offices in San Diego. We basically produced a live television show—with a high degree of interactivity. Our training team were the hosts of the event, taking everybody through the booth tour.
We had people monitoring the chat rooms, and we would bring questions right to the show floor and have them answered live during the broadcast. I think Sony dealers that attended really appreciated the effort we made to create something that was worth sitting through for an hour during this busy time. I think it was really well received.

Davis: What were the big announcements at CEDIA?
Goldstein: We introduced three new projectors and an OLED television to the CI channel.

For projectors, we announced the VPL-VW715ES, which is the successor model to our VPL-VW695ES. It hits a great price point of $10,000 for a native 4K SXRD projector and features our new X1™ processor for projector to enhance image reproduction.

We also introduced the VPL-VW915ES, which is the successor model to our VPL-VW885ES. This is a laser light powered native 4K SXRD panel projector that retails at $20,000. The upgrade in image quality is noticeable over the 885ES due to the newly incorporated X1™ for projector.

We also introduced our new flagship product—the GTZ-380, which will become available in January. This 10,000 ANSI lumen projector will be the best and brightest in our lineup. This model includes several newly developed technologies, including Sony’s newest and  smallest SXRD chip to maintain brightness, new laser diodes for better color reproduction, as well as the X1™ Ultimate for projector, which is our top level video processor optimized for use in a projector. We really have expanded the flexibility of installation and we’re no longer limited to controlled ambient light applications—we can now utilize something like this in a room with ambient light.

Additionally, we introduced a new OLED television product to the CI channel at a smaller 48-inch screen size. The MASTER Series A9S BRAVIA OLED TV will be a perfect fit where best-in-class picture quality is needed in smaller secondary and tertiary room applications.

Those are the four key products that we introduced at the CEDIA show, and we’re expecting great results from all of them.

Davis: Even though dealers have been busy during the pandemic, you’ve created marketing materials they can use. What is your strategy?
Goldstein: As we looked forward into 2021, there’s a great deal of uncertainty about what’s going to happen in our market.  While we are optimistic about the business outlook for the industry—we feel it’s important for our dealer partners to prepare to build more awareness of their businesses locally. Together with our marketing agency partners, we’ll be creating turnkey marketing solutions that will require limited time investment from our dealers, enabling them to leverage their partnership with Sony to drive business—with past clients and new.

Check out our full interviews with Jeff Goldstein here: