Sony snags Spotify for streaming music to Playstation gamers

31 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

PlayStation Music, which lets you play Spotify during games, launches worldwide.

NEW YORK — Back in January Sony Network Entertainment announced that it would pull the plug on its Music Unlimited service on March 29, and partner instead with Spotify on a new service called PlayStation Music.

Spotify officially launched on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 video game consoles on Monday, replacing Sony Corp’s own struggling music streaming music service, Music Unlimited. Rogers Communications Inc. also revealed Spotify, which now has over 60 million active users worldwide, will also be available on Fido customers’ tablets and smartphones through a free 24-month subscription to Spotify-premium. Sony says partnering with Spotify expands its music service to 41 countries, rather than the 19 available with Music Unlimited, and offers better tools for playlists and music discovery.

Both of these moves further solidify Spotify’s brand as being synonymous with music streaming, similar to how Netflix has become the platform many people immediately think of when it comes to online video streaming. The new service, which is available for PlayStations 3 and 4, went live in 41 countries, including the U.S., UK, Turkey, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. Music streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and Google Play Music are increasingly becoming viable deterrents to music piracy in Canada, as well as other regions the services are available in around the world. “We know our customers love to stream music and Spotify is the obvious choice for us,” said Raj Doshi, Rogers VP of product and hardware management, in a press release. Spotify has been available on a multitude of devices for years, including mobiles, tablets, and smart TVs, but it has hitherto been absent on games consoles.

Just two weeks ago, Sony launched an online television service, PlayStation Vue, offering more than 50 over-the-air and cable channels starting at $50 a month. However, Sony has not specified which of the 58 regions Spotify is currently available in will be missing out on the service’s initial PlayStation app launch. Spotify on PlayStation Music isn’t just a direct port from its existing tablet or TV apps, however, and the two companies have been working together closely to create something more tailored for a games consoles.

Its music app is available on some Internet-connected TVs and set-top boxes, but Spotify says it worked closely with Sony to optimize its service for the PlayStation. The service works even with the free, ad-supported version of Spotify; of course, those who want to get rid of the ads can pay $10 per month for Spotify Premium.

Features include: The ability to listen to music while playing a game and still listening to sound effects, or automatically pausing the game while changing volume or playlists. Sony also recently launched a new streaming television platform called PlayStation Vue, a new US$49.99 a month Internet television service, giving users access to networks like CBS, Fox, NBC, Discover, Viacom and AMC, directly from their PlayStation console.

Also, you can control the music using Spotify Connect, meaning your phone or tablet are essentially controllers while your gaming continues in the foreground. Microsoft’s Xbox One video game console was initially marketed as the only device you need in your living room, with its voice-activated Kinect navigation and ability to run a digital cable connection through the console. This effectively means you don’t have to pause the game and switch apps — you simply touch a button on your mobile to skip a track or turn the music down.

Although free users aren’t allowed to choose specific songs on mobile devices, they will be able to on the PlayStation, just as they now do on traditional computers. Since the Xbox One’s launch in November 2013 the system’s focus has shifted back to gaming, forcing the company to offer an Xbox bundle that doesn’t include its controversial Kinect motion sensor, largely due to the backlash the Xbox One’s initial multimedia-focused direction received. Spotify usually restricts its free tier to mobile, tablet, and PC users; listen on something like a Samsung smart TV or Roku and you need a paid subscription. However, Microsoft still offers Xbox Video, a rental movie and television streaming service, and Xbox Music, a music streaming service, on the Xbox One. Sony Music Unlimited didn’t have a free tier, but with Spotify now in tow, gamers who are willing to tolerate adverts while playing Grand Theft Auto V can get in on the music action, too.

Music Unlimited subscribers won’t be automatically switched over; those that subscribe on other devices such as Sony phones, will need to get the Spotify app. The full 41 launch markets are as follows: Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, U.K., and U.S. Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

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