The UK and Ireland are today the first to get a taste of Sony's big play for the online music market, the appropriately titled Music Unlimited. This new subscription service (£3.99 a month for Basic access, £9.99 for the Premium stuff) will let you stream a library of about six million songs to your PS3, Bravia telly, or web-connected Blu-ray player, while also offering the option to sync playlists from other music services like iTunes. PC support is available as well, with "a wide range of Sony's portable devices" and Android-based smartphones on the roadmap for future compatibility. Music Unlimited sidles up next to Qriocity as part of Sony's strategy to expand its influence in content delivery, presumably in an effort to thicken its revenue streams, and will be following up this British launch with arrivals in the US, Canada and most of Western Europe in the new year.

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"Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™" makes UK debut

· Premium, digital music service, available on Sony's 2010 network-enabled devices

· Offers breadth of content and easy music discovery

London – 22nd December 2010. Sony today announced the launch of "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™", a new, cloud-based, digital music service which gives music lovers access at any time to millions of songs from major labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, 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.

Through "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity," users can play music any time on a wide variety of Internet-connected Sony devices including Sony's 2010 models of network-enabled BRAVIA TV, Blu-ray Disc™ player, Blu-ray Disc Home Theatre system, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system as well as VAIO and other personal computers. It will also become available on a wide range of Sony's portable devices, as well as on Android-based mobile devices.

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

"Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" is the next extension of services 'powered by Qriocity.' Sony debuted "Video On Demand powered by Qriocity™," a premium video streaming service, in the U.S. in April 2010 and expanded the service to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. in November 2010. Through "Video on Demand powered by Qriocity" customers can instantly rent from a growing library of thousands of Hollywood blockbuster movies across Sony's 2010 models of network-enabled BRAVIA TV, Blu-ray Disc player and Blu-ray Disc Home Theater system.

"As we continue to expand Qriocity globally, these services 'powered by Qriocity' offer a single ID log-in and wallet solution, and empower users to easily consume content including music and video across a growing number of integrated devices," said Kazuo Hirai, President of Networked Products & Services Group, Sony Corporation. "Seamless accessibility to content through these fresh user experiences will enrich Sony's network service offerings and continually add value to the unique aspects of Sony's network-enabled products."

Sony has developed "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" in partnership with Omnifone, a leading provider of cloud-based unlimited music services, with Omnifone contracted by Sony to coordinate content licensing as well as development and delivery of the service, leveraging its existing expertise in the music industry.

"Omnifone is delighted to partner with Sony to bring 'Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity' to hundreds of millions of Sony and other devices," said Rob Lewis, Executive Chairman of Omnifone. "'Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity' is designed to bring digital music into the homes and living rooms of consumers, as well as to PCs and portable devices, with every users' music experiences synchronized automatically across their devices without needing to manage media files."

"Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" Features

With Basic (£3.99) and Premium (£9.99) monthly subscription plans, "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" offers breadth of content and easy music discovery, features cited as most important by music enthusiasts.

Unlike many other popular music services, the basic plan permits unlimited forward skipping of the songs to ensure users discover music they want to hear. With access to an expanding catalogue of about six million songs, the basic plan works as an infinite ad-free radio station and subscribers can listen to dozens of personalized channels – categorized by genre, era as well as mood through SensMe™ *1 – without the requirement to download or manage their music files.

Additionally, the premium subscription plan offers a one time 30 day Premium free trial enabling users to listen in full to every song on demand, create personal playlists of favourites, and gain access to premium Top 100 channels which are regularly updated with the latest hits.

By studying users' listening habits, incorporating their 'like/dislike' song ratings, analysing their existing music collections and more, "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity" adapts to users' music preferences and constantly tailors music channels to offer the most compatible and enjoyable list of songs. Therefore, the more you listen, the more uniquely personalized your music channels become.

Furthermore, users can also synchronise their existing music files and playlists from other media players including iTunes into "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity," and enjoy their existing music at any time across all compatible devices*2.

*1 SensMe™ is Sony's proprietary 12 Tone Analysis technology to evaluate music tracks

*2 Applies to DRM-free music files and to music which has been licensed for playback on "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity"

"Qriocity™" is a trademark of Sony Corporation

"PlayStation" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

"iTunes" is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

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Sony's Music Unlimited subscription service ready to stream tunes to PS3s and Bravia TVs in the UK