Sony is replacing its own digital music subscription service to make way for a new music app powered by the leader in the music-streaming business, Spotify.
In a blog post, Sony Network Entertainment vice president Eric Lempel said Sony will be shutting down Music Unlimited on Mar. 29. This will be replaced by PlayStation Music, which will be available to all 64 million members of Sony PlayStation Network (PSN). PlayStation Music will be compatible with PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and all Sony Xperia smartphones and tablets.
The strength of PlayStation Music lies in its "exclusive partnership" with Spotify, which boasts a library composed of 30 million tracks and 1.5 billion playlists. Spotify is known for being choosy when it comes to partnerships with hardware manufacturers, so Sony's announcement implies that the music-streaming service is not coming to Microsoft's Xbox consoles anytime soon.
PlayStation Music can be used in the background while gamers play their favorite games. If they are not already one of the 15 million premium Spotify subscribers, they can purchase monthly access to the service using their PSN payment details. Current Spotify subscribers will be able to access their existing playlists on PlayStation Music. It is unclear, though, if the free version of Spotify will also be available to PSN members.
"Want something heavy and rocking for an intense Destiny Raid? How about some old-school hip hop while taking the field in Madden NFL?" said Lempel. "We know how important music is to our community, and this partnership combines the best in music with the best in gaming."
Lempel also said Sony's Music Unlimited service will close shop in all the 19 countries where it is available before the launch of PlayStation Music, but Music Unlimited subscribers with a valid subscription until Feb. 28 will be given one month's free access to PlayStation Music. Forty-one markets, including the United States, Canada, Brazil and Mexico, will see PlayStation Music launch on an undisclosed date.
PlayStation Music is one of six Sony Entertainment services that have been revamped and bundled together under the PlayStation Network brand. Among the new services under the umbrella brand are PlayStation Video, which replaces Sony's Video Unlimited service offering 200,000 movies and TV shows, and PlayStation Vue, a cloud-based TV service that will be available sometime during the first quarter.
Also part of the PSN brand is the PlayStation Store, the membership subscription service PlayStation Plus and the game-streaming service PlayStation Now.
"We look forward to bringing even more compelling experiences and an unparalleled breadth and quality of digital entertainment services and content to our customers," said Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Andrew House.