Sony Entertainment Network today announced that it is expanding its Music Unlimited cloud-based digital music subscription service to countries including Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Music Unlimited features a catalogue of over 12 million songs including “all major U.S. labels, leading independent labels, and major publishers worldwide.” The service is designed to work on Bravia TV’s, PS3s, PSPs, some Sony Walkmen, and as a desktop service. The basic subscription starts off at €4 and premium runs at €10 per month.
Sony’s Digital Music Chief, Tim Schaaff, spoke to Evolver.fm this past December and said the following about why Sony would take on such a project when services like Spotify, Rdio, and Rhapsody already exist:
“I’m not going to tell you about anything that’s very specific today, but we would be fools if we didn’t engage in that kind of exploratory work, because again, the future is going to be ‘What does this content mean to the consumer, and how can we increase their level of engagement?’ Social media, social networking — that’s one dimension of engagement, but there are so many things we can be doing other than chatting with our friends.
“I think it’s absolutely up to us, and that is because of that relationship between electronics, software, services, and content… If we don’t do that, then shame on Sony.”
I figure this geographic expansion is good news for people who want to take full advantage of their Sony products. This service is not necessarially new– it’s been around since December 2010. And it shows initiative from a major record label to provide a music distribution service for the modern era. Sony BMG reportedly owns 5.8% of Spotify’s shares, so I wouldn’t expect anything too cannibalistic from Sony’s part. But how much logic can you use when predicting the actions of record labels?