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Sony hopes Michael Jackson's legacy can boost its streaming music service

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Sony sure knows how to dangle a carrot in front of its customers. In a not-so-subtle use of music industry clout to drive its technology business, the company is offering access to five tunes off of the Michael Jackson album Xscape on its Music Unlimited streaming service days before the album's official debut (May 13th in the US). Meanwhile, iTunes and other services are getting one early song at best.

Sony is milking the release for all it's worth on other platforms, too. You can head to the PlayStation Store to check out a behind-the-scenes video, and buying an Xperia Z2 in Canada and other regions will get you a full download of MJ's album as soon as it's available. Are all these promotional stunts going to help Sony's less-than-stellar financials? Probably not all that much, but at least a Music Unlimited trial is free -- and if signing up is still too much of a hassle, you can always listen to the first Xscape single below.

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