Sony ups challenge to Apple with new music and video service

Sony is to announce a new internet-based music and video subscription service to run across all its devices including Playstations, Vaio computers, Blu-ray video players, Walkmans, Bravia TVs and Sony Ericsson mobiles.

Millions of Sony consumers already access the internet to download movies via Playstations and the new network, to be announced at the IFA technology show in Berlin, will provide a competitor to Apple’s embryo network of iPhones, iPods and IPads. Apple is also to announce upgrades to its services in California today.

Sony has always had at least one eye on content, stunning the film world with its purchase of Columbia Pictures back in 1989. This has proved a mixed blessing in the decades since but Sony boss Howard Stringer clearly thinks the big new thing is gadget makers as media owners, just as Apple’s Steve Jobs does.

The difference, maybe, being that Sony seems to see the money in subscriptions rather than advertising.

Sony has already announced a deal with the Google to use the latter’s Android platform to produce what it’s claiming will be the first ‘internet TV.’ These are scheduled to hit the US market in time for Christmas this year, ahead, probably, of Apple’s own efforts.

It looks as though the Sony internet TV has just acquired a few more functions.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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