Sony’s Qriocity Expands To Global Markets

January 24, 2011

Coinciding with Sunday’s opening of the MIDEM music industry convention on the French Riviera, Sony Corporation’s “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” service, is being extended to France, Germany, Spain and Italy, after being launched in the United States, Britain and Ireland, AFP reports.

The subscription service will be competing with a fast-growing number of free and paying music streaming services that include Spotify, Pandora, Last.fm, Groove Shark and We7. Cloud-based services differ from the music streaming services that download onto a computer by allowing users to house all their music on a remote server (known as the cloud) as well as giving them access to millions of other tracks.

Cloud storage acts as an easily-accessible server where everyone’s music files are available from anywhere and is attracting a lot of attention at MIDEM this year, as they promise to help music lovers connect their music to a host of digital devices at home and on the move.

“If you want to make a great user experience, the issue is how to make everything mesh together,” Tim Schaaff, President of Sony Network Entertainment told a MIDEMNET conference in Cannes on Saturday. Schaaff said Qriocity will link content across Sony devices.

Schaaff acknowledged the commercial risk involved: “There are a lot of bodies on the road leading to success with a digital music service, and I was very keen to avoid that fate.”

Cloud-based services are also gaining in popularity as fans increasingly want to access music rather than own it, experts at MIDEM explained to AFP.

“Cloud-based music services are also flavor of the month because we’re finding that people want access (to music) more than they want ownership,” said Harry Maloney, chief executive of Catch Media, which has partnered with Britain’s Carphone Warehouse retail chain to launch a “Music Anywhere” service, AFP reports.

The new Sony subscription service, which the Japanese electronics giant hopes will rival Apple’s market-leading iTunes, will let fans stream their music from a multitude of Internet-connected Sony devices including televisions and Blu-Ray DVD players.

Sony’s Qriocity is being pitched at 3.99 euros ($9.00) a month for a basic service and a 9.99 euro ($14.00) premium subscription giving access to every song on demand plus the option to create playlists. “Music Anywhere” is meanwhile free to all customers who buy a Samsung Europa smartphone from Carphone Warehouse. The alternative is to pay an annual fee of 29.99 pounds (35 euros, 50 dollars) to use the service on other smartphones.

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Source: newswire

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