Sony’s Music Unlimited’s Big Secret: It’s Powered By Gracenote & Omnifone

Still a long way from becoming a real iTunes competitor, but to me these two partners indicate that Sony at least has some common sense left.

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image from Gracenote and Omnifone used MIDEM to announce that their tech is driving the back-end of “Music Unlimited”, Sony’s new cloud digital music service designed to take on both iTunes and music streamers. Consumers may not care, but competitors and the industry certainly do. All four major labels have signed on to this new Sony network designed to help sell connected devices – much as iTunes sells iPods.

Omnifone provided its platform to develop and deliver the Cloud-based service for “Music Unlimited by Qriocity” across a range of device platforms and also licensed the service with rights holders around the world, providing a global catalogue of over six million tracks.
Gracenote’s music identification and discovery technologies and Global Media Database enables users to enjoy their existing digital music collection and discover new artists within Sony’s service.



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What is Sony’s Music Unlimited’s place in the world?

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While playing on similar turf as Spotify, Rdio and Grooveshark, Sony’s Music Unlimited is aimed squarely (for now) at the living room. If you’re using it on a Playstation 3, TV or BluRay player, Music Unlimited makes perfect sense. The question is whether there’s a big enough market of people willing to listen to music in their living rooms for the service, which costs £9.99 per month after a 30-day trial, to make long-term economic sense for Sony and the music rightsholders in the long term.

Perhaps Music Unlimited is all about perception. Discard the interface flaws (which could well be ironed out in the future) and think of this as a music-focused complement to the streaming movies offered by Netflix or LoveFilm on Sony hardware, and Music Unlimited starts to find a place in the world.

What is Music Unlimited’s place in the world



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Sony debuts “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™” digital music service

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Tokyo, Japan – Sony Corporation (“Sony”) today announced the launch of “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™,” a new, cloud-based, digital music service which gives music lovers access at anytime to millions of songs from major labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment Inc., Warner Music Group and EMI Music as well as leading independent labels and major publishers worldwide. The “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” catalogue will initially offer about six million songs and will continue to expand over time.

“Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” is initially available in the U.K. and Ireland with service availability in other markets including the US. Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand to be announced in due course during 2011.



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