Here’s a recipe for failure: Sony has just launched a music subscription service in the U.K. and Ireland, but users can’t get it on their mobile phones.
But it gets worse. Sony actually has two plans. The basic plan at 4 pounds or Euro per month doesn’t even let you pick songs. It’s like Internet radio–think Pandora or Slacker–with the nice feature of being able to skip songs you don’t like.
If you actually want to pick individual songs or albums on demand, that costs 10 pounds or Euro per month. That’s the same price as Spotify Premium, which works on nearly every major phone platform today.
Sony Music Unlimited is supposed to come to mobile phones eventually, including Sony and Android phones, but Sony isn’t saying anything about the iPhone.
The service is set to launch in the U.S. next year, where it will go up against a ton of other subscription services including Rhapsody, MOG, Rdio, and Thumbplay. All of those services work on multiple phone platforms, including the iPhone, and cost a now-standard $10 per month. Even Microsoft has its own subscription music service, the Zune Pass, for Windows Phone 7.
Sony’s service does work on Internet-connected Sony TVs and Blu-ray players and the PlayStation 3, which might give it some traction among Sony devotees. Sony also has an edge in that it doesn’t have to licence its own catalogue, which should help it keep costs down. Still, it’s hard to make a splash with a service that offers less than the competition at the same price.
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