Feeds

Sony to tie online music service into hardware

Phones and stuff

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Sony lifted its skirt an inch this week to reveal the beginnings of a game plan on music, which is could potentially copy on film too, with its US head of Sony's entertainment operations telling journalists that Sony would launch its own online music services.

Dubbed Net Music Download, the key messages were that it will launch in Japan first, then US and Europe next spring, and that Sony will tightly integrate the music with its electronics devices and Sony- Ericsson phones.

Sony is currently negotiating the music licenses it needs for the service, but shouldn't find them hard to come by since every music company, from Vivendi's Universal Music group, to EMI, Bertelsmann, Time Warner and Sony itself, is in need of rejuvenated revenues and is hoping that someone can take the success that Apple has had with its smaller online Mac community, and duplicate it globally.

Apple's iTunes has led the way in re-pricing music, placing a 99 cents charge on a downloaded track in the face of piracy that has undermined all previous attempts to bring the industry back to life. Since Apple has launched, BuyMusic.com has used the same pricing model and successfully got a service off the ground in the US. Microsoft has worried more about supplying its Media Player to other services, letting partners run the services it offers.

But all of the existing services need a PC to download music, with the only other online music systems relying on the mobile phone. Sony has the power to launch a single service which has live portable players, such as phones and its Clie handheld, alongside its Playstation games platform ranges, and its digital home electronics media players.

Stringer was speaking in Paris and claimed that piracy had cost the music industry some $7bn in the past two years. He added that US film studios had lost $3bn-$4bn and risk losing bigger and bigger amounts.

Last year, the head of the Sony Music Group, was ousted after steep losses in that division. He was succeeded by Andrew Lack coming out of the television business, with insiders suggesting he was put forward by Stringer. Stringer himself has been elevated to vice president of the Sony Corporation. Since the move, Sony cut 1,000 jobs as part of a wide-ranging overhaul and has managed to bring the division back into profit.

Stringer also hinted that a foolproof, self contained digital rights management system would be built into the service.

This week Vivendi responded to piracy at its Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company, by announcing price cuts for compact discs

Stringer also pointed out that broadband would allow piracy to do the same to the movie industry if film studios did not react, and it is reasonable to assume that once Sony has streamlined its music delivery platform, tightly tied into its electronic music players, it will try to do the same with its film delivery and digital televisions and digital theater systems.

In an echo of Sony's announcement, German newspapers report that the ISP subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, T-Online, also has plans for its own online music download site. The German press reports that the service will begin with 30,000 tracks and that Bertelsmann, EMI Group, Sony and Warner Music are supplying the music.

Copyright © 2003, Rethink Research

Faultline is published weekly by Rethink Research and is edited by Peter White.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.