Sony launches online subscription music service

Apple Online Store“Sony Corp. said Wednesday it launched an online streaming-music service in the U.K. and Ireland and will roll out the platform to other major markets next year, as it looks to try to catch up with rivals such as Apple Inc. in linking its electronics to online digital content,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate said the Music Unlimited service, which debuted in the U.K. and Ireland on Tuesday, will be available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other European countries in 2011, though it didn’t offer details,” Wakabayashi reports. “The company will offer both basic and premium subscriptions to a library of six million songs.”

MacDailyNews Note: It’s a different model (for now), of course, but for reference, Apple’s iTunes Store’s music library currently exceeds 14 million songs.

“Sony has long sought to replicate Apple’s ability to use iTunes to be the common software library and conduit for delivering music, videos, games and other content for its entire range of products,” Wakabayashi reports. “Sony software scans a user’s music library and collects the basic song and album data. Once that information is collected, Sony matches those songs with its online music database so users can stream music… However, users can’t play songs that are rights-protected Also, it won’t work for titles not found within Sony’s six million song database, which the company says includes songs from non-Sony labels. The service will work on only Sony products for the next few years.”

Wakabayashi reports, “The basic [monthly] service costs €3.99 (US$5.25) in Ireland and £3.99 ($6.18) in the U.K. The premium service, which includes the ability to call up songs on demand and gain access to regularly updated top 100 lists, costs €9.99 ($13.10) and £9.99 ($15.43) respectively.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Remember that poor kid with the vacant eyes in preschool who kept trying to jam that square block into the round hole?


  1. I’m getting a tired of reading MDN ‘ negative comments to anything which is NOT coming from Cupertino. Btw I’m a huge Apple fan since several years, but a bit more objectivity wouldn’t hurt. Happy Holidays from Jakarta to all!

  2. What possessed them to think this was something to do? Apple doesn’t make much money from its huge iTunes operation, other than its contribution to the hardware support system. Other attempts at renting music have shown that there is significant price resistance well below what’s needed for the provider to show a good profit. Sony is desperately thrashing about, trying to become relevant again.

  3. They just can’t learn. Got to give them credit for trying. But I don’t get what they are doing here. So you just can stream music you already have? And call up others on demand. Ok why would I need this? Why do I want to stream my music I already have?

    Seems like it’s messed up complicated and they are going after a system that so far has not worked for anyone people buy not rent songs. People rent movies and tv shows.

  4. DOOMED!!

    Hmmm, let’s see. Sony wants me to PAY $15 a MONTH to ‘rent’ songs that can only be played on Sony devices (currently none) and I don’t get to keep any music.

    Are Sony TRYING to drive people to piracy? Because this will succeed!!

  5. In light of their performance with Vista, 7, even XP it is clear that the only way MS can accomplish a new OS working on multiple platforms before the heart death of the universe is to take Darwin and put a thin candy coating on it (now that’s real innovation) or perhaps start with LINUX and work from there. Any other path dooms the project to total failure. Either path dooms M$ to total destruction. WHich way will Balmer go?????

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.