Sony today launched their streaming music service in the US. It's what they call, "Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity." In all honesty, there isn't much new to the service as far as how it works. There are already many streaming music services that offer something similar at a similar price.
Still, Sony left out something important when it came to their streaming music service, it's a major oversight and it may end up hurting the service in terms of adoption rate. Let's take a quick look after the jump.
It Doesn't Work on Mobile Devices
Yeah, you can't use Sony's streaming service on your iOS device or Android phone. This is something Sony says they're working on. Still, that's missing a huge chunk of the potential market. Where do they really want to promote their Qriocity streaming music service? The PlayStation 3, of course. Wait, what? Sure, it's coming, but that's something they should introduce from the beginning. Many of the people who want to stream music like doing it from their mobile device over 3G. According to a report from All Things D, Sony "thinks people will enjoy listening to music on their TVs controller by their PlayStation 3s."
While doing that, is a nice bonus, it's not entirely useful. We have to turn on our TV and any attached soundsystem in addition to the PlayStation 3 if we want to hear streaming music. Meanwhile, we can just use a mobile device or our computer to do the same thing across any number of services.
$10 for Less?
As we mentioned before, this is not available on mobile devices. Still, it's going to set you back $10 a month. That's about what you should expect to pay for a service like this one, but when that service offers less than the competitors, the choice becomes easy.
Will Apple Be A Problem?
Many speculate that Apple may become a problem for Sony. In fact, they may become a problem for all streaming music services. This is thanks to a change in their (Apple's) terms of service that says that subscriptions must be purchased through the App Store and that they get a 30 percent share of that revenue. This may convince content providers to look elsewhere. It seems that in this case, Google may be worth looking at, but that's another story.
The alternatives are many. Seriously. You can hit the App Store or Google and just type in streaming music, and you will find more apps than you'd know what to do with. We did that once and we found loads of great stuff like Pandora, AOL Radio and Slacker Radio. There are more, and we listed some a while back.
We are aware of the fact that Sony will be inroducing a way for mobile users to subscribe to their $10/month streaming all-you-can-listen-to audio service. It may just be too little too late. With all the other choices out there, it's hard to see Qriocity being a top contender.