In what I can only describe as YET ANOTHER failure of an idea from Sony’s Entertainment Group, they’ve decided to step into the ring with their own music service.
I smell a first round knockout coming up.
Sony took the lid off of its new music streaming service, this morning, in the United States market after having announced it back in September at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. The service, which is named “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” (my lord, what a mouthful) is a cloud based streaming service that will be able to provide music to a number of Sony devices including the PS3, Blu-Ray home theater systems and Sony portable devices.
The service will work by streaming music across the interwebs to any web-enabled device, naturally, which sounds like it could be a pretty decent concept – except for a couple of glaring problems.
1) If you’re not connected to the tubes, you get no love from Sony. At this time the service is “streaming only” with Sony explaining this away by saying they don’t want to needlessly clog up users’ hard drives with data…
So what if I’m in an area with little to no reception and I REALLY want to listen to some music? “Wait and see” is Sony’s reply to that one.
2) The service will “scan users’ hard drives” and then provide them access to songs from their media libraries, including from music services like iTunes.
But…if I already HAVE the music on my hard drive, why do I need to stream it across the interwebs?
Also, after the Sony/BMG root-kit debacle, I’m not sure how many users are going to want to have Sony doing ANYTHING with their hard drives. I know I sure don’t.
Sony is, at this point, relying on the nearly 350 million internet enabled devices it has running around in order to leverage companies into helping them move the service and has clearly stated that they’re eyeballing iTunes, thinking this is the perfect time for them to unseat the music distribution mega-giant.
With the service starting at $10 per month with a library of 6 million songs, I think Sony is going to have one hell of a fight on their hands. Can they break Apple’s stranglehold on the music market? We’ll see.