Japan's Sony Corp is setting up a US-based holding company, Sony Broadband Entertainment (SBE), to house its movie and music businesses, as part of a plan to speed up exploitation of its entertainment assets on the Internet.

Headed by current Sony Corporation of America president Howard Stringer, SBE's core companies will be Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment. However, SBE will not intervene in the internal management of either.

"Mr. Stringer is not going to be telling Sony Pictures what kind of movies to make," Sony spokesman Gerald Cavanaugh said. "The focus of SBE's activities will be on digital broadband networks, examples being the introduction of video-on-demand services on cable and the distribution of music over the Internet."

No launch date has yet been set but SBE is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.

Another key element of Sony's strategy is the establishment of the "e Management Committee" (eMC), headed by Sony CEO Norio Ohga, to manage total group business and set strategy for Internet business, and the "eSony Development Group" to support the eMC and implement business decisions.

Meanwhile, Sony intends to promote its Net businesses through Sony Communication Network (So-net), an Internet Service Provider it launched in 1995, and PlayStation.com, the web-site for its megahit PlayStation console and related products and services. Sony is reportedly considering seeking a listing for its ISP and planning to raise nearly $60m in convertible bonds to raise money for incentive plans for executives at its US subsidiaries.