Sony Considers Move Away from iTunes

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Sony is planning on expanding its Music Unlimited streaming service and is hinting that it may not have long-term plans for keeping its library on Apple’s iTunes Store. Music Unlimited is currently available in Europe, but will soon open doors in Australia, too, according to The Age.

Assuming Music Unlimited gains enough traction, Sony could pull its music library from the iTunes Store. “If we do [get mass take up] then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes?” commented Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Michael Ephraim.

Sony considers pulling out of Apple’s iTunes Store

He added “Publishers are being held to ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold.”

According to Mr. Ephraim, Sony’s Music Unlimited is more open than Apple’s iTunes because it’s a streaming service and doesn’t need an iTunes Store account. The iTunes Store sells songs and albums that users download to their computer, iPod touch, iPhone or iPad, where Sony’s Music Unlimited streams songs over the Internet.

Mr. Ephraim called music streaming a new technology that’s better for end users because of the number of devices that are supported. That “new technology,” however, hasn’t proven to be a lucrative business model for the companies that have tried it over the past few years.

Sony plans to make its streaming music service available to the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) as well as Sony Ericsson phones for customers that want to listen to streaming music on the go. Despite Mr. Ephraim’s claims that Music Unlimited is more open than Apple’s iTunes ecosystem, Sony doesn’t have plans to offer the service to iPhone and iPod touch users.

Mr. Ephraim didn’t say when Sony would consider backing out of the iTunes Store, but based on the limited availability of Music Unlimited, executives won’t likely make a decision for at least a few years.

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10 Comments Leave Your Own

acdc1174

Why would you want your catalogue in one-less place from which consumers may purchase?  ESPECIALLY the largest online music retailer in the world?  This has been done before and it smacks of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

Shock Me

A streaming solution? So all the music stays on their server and it is somehow MORE open and less proprietary?

Sorry, Sony I’m keeping my downloads and buying new ones only from companies that permit me to retain a copy in my custody.

mhikl

Insisting one is still relevant doesn’t make it so? Hope someone remembers to turn off the lights.

prl53

In this case, Sony is the music label and we can only hope for the artists sake that they can break away from Sony and find a way to deal directly with Apple while still being able to market their product (music and concerts) through other sources. I’m sure they would love to only lose 30% to Apple instead of getting a fraction of a dollar for every song they have to market through the Sony music label.

Lee Dronick

A streaming solution?

And get charged for using more bandwidth.

BradPDX

While they are at it, Sony might as well pull product out of WalMart, Amazon and my local record store too - I mean, why lose a penny to any other outlet when you can force everyone to your one and only store? Sounds like a sure bet.

This is hot air, 100% BS. Sony wishes and may feel that they SHOULD be Apple, but they are not; that bus left the station years ago. Apple has the worlds biggest music store and Sony has no store to speak of. Do they want to sell product, or just throw a tantrum about their poor business acumen?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Not about music at all guys… It’s about the Reader app and that mandatory 30% cut Apple is seeking. And the time frame of a pullout is not years. It’s weeks if Sony decides it wants to make a point.

mhikl

find a way to deal directly with Apple

Excellent point pr. Band’s contract up they could produce their own music and iTunes their personal store.

Sony would be back before Bosco could type, “I told you so”.

Speaking of the King of Envyboys, is he recycling his old posts or is he just redundant?

Sparkie48

The best thing about HP’s entry into the tablet war is that it will force Apple to make our iPads better and cheaper. Long live competition. Verizon now has AT&T sweetening deals, too. I hope more and more carriers and slates enter the fray.

James

In Japan, Sony have never provided music content on iTunes although there are some films available on the store.

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