Reports from the Australian newspaper “The Age”, say that Sony will soon pull out of its long association with iTunes. The report suggests that Sony has been working very hard on catching up with its existing customers with the help of its Music Unlimited streaming service. Further confirmations have come from Michael Ephraim, who is the head of Sony Computer Entertainment in Australia, that once the services get rolled out around the world, the company may start to think about pulling out of its partnership with Apple and iTunes. The company will decide its policy on the basis of the kind of response it gets with the streaming of its Music Unlimited services. If the service gains in popularity, the company will no longer need feeds from iTunes as is the current format with the company.
The launch of Music Unlimited services by Sony was first announced in September. The following December, Sony launched the services in UK and Ireland with over six million songs being made available to the customers. Along with Universal, EMI and Warner Music, Sony delivered the songs in streams. Sony Music Unlimited also includes independent tracks.
Ephraim envisages Music Unlimited to be a new technology that gives its customers more freedom than that of Apple. The charge for Music Unlimited has been kept to $6 per month for basic service and for premium services about $15. The features of Music Unlimited are similar to that of Pandora in allowing the users to modify their listening by expressing their liking or disliking for a song. The one good feature that Music Unlimited services has is that the services are provided to users without any ad break. It also allows the users the benefit of unlimited skip. Eventually the company aims to bring Music Unlimited to a slew of devices. At present the service providers for the company are HDTVs, PlayStation and Blu-ray Disc players.
Apple had rejected an application from Sony for access to Apple’s store that would have allowed users of Sony to get access to e-books. Apple later clarified that it was looking for developers to make the e-book available to the customers. Sony had it in mind to propagate digital reading by bringing the content to as many available devices as possible. With Apple’s stand this was not possible and therefore the company started to have serious issues with it.