Tokyo - Sony Corp. launched a subscription-based music service in two European countries and promises to bring it to the U.S.
The cloud-based "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" service enables PCs and Sony home entertainment products -- including TVs, Blu-ray players, Blu-ray HTiBs, and PlayStation3 - to access the service's catalog of about 6 million songs from the big four music labels and independents. The songs are streamed via dozens of personalized channels. Sony plans to expand the service to Sony's portable devices, Android-based phones, and other portable devices.
Available in basic and premium subscriptions, the service is now available in the U.K. and Ireland. In 2011, Sony will announce launch plans for the U.S. and other countries.
In Ireland, the basic service costs 3.99 Euros/month, and the premium service is 9.99 Euros/month. Unlike many other music services, Sony said its basic plan permits unlimited forward skipping. The premium service also lets users listen in full to every song on demand, create personal playlists of favorites, and access premium Top 100 channels, which are regularly updated with the latest hits.
In April 2010, Sony launched a premium video streaming service in the U.S. and rolled it out to other countries. The "Video on Demand powered by Qriocity" service lets consumers rent from a library of thousands of Hollywood movies across Sony's 2010 models of network-enabled TVs, Blu-ray Disc player and Blu-ray HTiBs.