Sony Mutes Its Own Music Streaming Service for Spotify

Sony, which has spent millions trying to turn Music Unlimited into a brand, is pulling the plug on the streaming music service, turning to Spotify to provide its digital tunes instead.

The two companies will launch PlayStation Music later this spring, with Music Unlimited playing its last song on March 29. Spotify on PlayStation Music will offer more than 30 million songs and 1.5 billion playlists.

Given that PlayStation Music will be available on Sony’s videogame consoles, smartphones and tablets in 41 countries when it launches, the deal is a coup for Spotify and should help it narrow the gap with rival Pandora and distance itself from other players like Rdio, Tidal, even Apple’s streaming service, which is said to be incorporating Beats Music.

The deal becomes even more attractive to Spotify when you consider Sony’s PlayStation Network has 64 million active users.

“Music is a core component of the entertainment offering that consumers expect from Sony, and our goal with PlayStation Music is to provide the most compelling music experiences to the millions of PlayStation Network users around the world,” said Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment and group executive in charge of the Network Entertainment Business. “This partnership represents the best in music and the best in gaming coming together, which will benefit the vibrant and passionate communities of both Spotify and PlayStation Network. We’re thrilled to make Spotify the foundation of our strategy with PlayStation Music.”

Current Music Unlimited customers will receive a free Spotify trial.

Music Unlimited, previously known as Qriocity, launched in 2010, but though its parent company owns a record label and offers a distribution pipeline through Sony’s hardware businesses, the service always struggled to find a following.

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