Sony Expands Music Unlimited Service to Challenge Spotify

Sony Corp. (6758), owner of the world’s second-biggest record company, is expanding features of its Music Unlimited streaming service to Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and cutting prices in half to challenge industry leader Spotify Ltd.

Owners of iPhone and iPod Touch devices will be able to store music on the devices for listening when Internet service isn’t available, Sony Entertainment Network said today on its website. The feature, already offered by Spotify, Rdio Inc. and Rhapsody International Inc., is under review by Apple and should be available soon, according to the statement.

Sony, playing catchup in Web-based on-demand music, lowered prices below the $10-a-month charged by Spotify and other competitors. Subscribers to PlayStation Plus, a $50-a-year premium video-game service, can add Music Unlimited for $42, while general customers can get an annual subscription for $60, according to the statement.

Music Unlimited subscribers can access 20 million songs and personalized music channels on the Sony video-game players, Bravia TVs, PCs, and devices running Apple iOS or Google Inc.’s Android operating system, the company said.

The service, which can be purchased through the Music Unlimited app for the PlayStation 3 or online, is available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

Sony fell 1.8 percent to 1,966 yen in Tokyo. The shares have more than doubled this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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