Sony is stepping up its foray into the music streaming business. Sony's Music Unlimited will soon allow iPhone and iPod Touch users to store music for offline listening, the company said on its website. Sony has also cut subscription fees for its on-demand music offering: The price is now $60 a year, or $42 for people who already subscribe to Sony's PlayStation Plus video-game service.
The moves come as Sony competes with more popular rivals. As Bloomberg reports, on-demand streaming peers Spotify, Rdio, and Rhapsody already offer users of Apple devices an option to listen when not connected to the Internet. (Music Unlimited's Android users also have an offline listening feature.) What's more, Sony's new subscription rate is now sharply lower than Spotify's $10 monthly fee.
Sony's Music Unlimited service includes access to 20 million songs, said Anu Kirk, Sony Network Entertainment's director of music services, in the video below. The service is available on Sony video-game machines, Bravia TVs, PCs, and Apple- or Android-compatible mobile devices. The website says the reduced subscription rate is valid "for a limited time."
The music streaming business has gotten crowded lately. Google recently unveiled its new All Access service, an on-demand offering similar to Spotify. Streaming services without an on-demand option are also embroiled in healthy competition, with Apple rolling out iTunes Radio and Pandora engaging in a debate over royalty rates. Pink Floyd, who recently joined Spotify, who published an op-ed critical of Pandora today in USA Today: Streaming, it's a gas.