Sony Connect To Close Music/Video Services; Focus on Servicing Playstation Group; 20 People To Go

imageThe Sony Connect experiment is about to get, well, disconnected: it will be winding down its music and video services in the next couple of months, and focus on servicing the Playstation group on the technical needs, has learned and confirmed. In an all-hands meeting yesterday in Sony’s offices in Los Angeles, employees were told that about 20-plus jobs are being phased out during this winding-down phase as a result of this closure. The eBooks division will remain however, as it will be servicing Sony Reader product.

Steve Banfield, the head of the Sony Connect division, will be leaving in the next few weeks, and Tim Schaaff and Fumi Kanagwa from Sony corporate will now run what’s left of Connect engineering team. The remaining team of around 80 will be devoted support Playstation.

Few things are unclear: whether Sony Connect brand will remain after this restructuring; and whether SonicStage software will continue. An unfortunate end to a business hampered from the start by the internal politics, and inability of the corporate parent to give any real attention to this digital media unit. For instance, check out the two posts Staci did earlier yesterday, about Sony’s plans to relaunch Grouper and Sony-MySpace Minisode network.