LAS VEGAS--Music Unlimited, a cloud-based streaming music service, is coming to iOS devices. Is this a sign that Sony is finally ready to offer its vast content ecosystem to devices outside of its own?
The free app will be available for Apple's various iOS devices, including the iPad, this coming summer. It will essentially offer the same functionality as the Android app, and the ability to cache playlists for premium users. Representatives today also noted that Music Unlimited's catalog is now around 15 million songs, after adding content from CD Baby.
Despite the good news, things are purposefully evolving slowly for Sony Network Entertainment. After all, the company is a relatively new startup that manages Sony's Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, and PlayStation Network services.
Sony Network Entertainment President Tim Schaaff noted that developing an iOS app within Sony is a "pragmatic process." He continued, "You can be a Sony customer, but that doesn't mean every product you own comes from Sony. We have an opportunity to reach these customers, and show them the benefit of being a Sony customer."
Schaaf also believes that cloud-based services are still "in an early stage of competition," and that the company is "getting its skin in the game." Schaaff revealed that Music Unlimited has more than a million active subscribers, but that figure includes premium and trial members.
Will Music Unlimited ever become a household name like Pandora or Spotify? Only a time traveler knows the answer to that question, but Schaaff says, "When we look at other players in the marketplace, we are in this for the long run. We can pursue consumers on a global basis."
Access to Music Unlimited is growing. It recently expanded to Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, for a total availability of 13 countries around the world. Schaaff also revealed that Video Unlimited is coming to Google TV "soon."