In a bold move, Sony has effectively castrated themselves. In December of 2010, Sony threw it’s hat into the ring of digital music, following the likes of Apple’s iTunes, Google’s Google Play, Spotify, Nokia’s MixRadio, and Microsoft’s Xbox Music. They teamed up with Omnifone and created a service called Qriocity. That service was rebranded as Music Unlimited. On January 28 2015, Sony announced that Spotify would be ‘powering’ their new music service deemed PlayStation Music and that the Music Unlimited service would cease on March 29, 2015.
This move echoes throughout the digital music and distribution world as companies find it harder (or at least not-so-lucrative) to gain footing in the business of music. One company, ADED.US Music Distribution, will continue to provide indie artists an outlet to distribute to the new PlayStation Music though. They were already delivering content to Sony’s Music Unlimited and will continue to do so through this rebranding.
“It’s sort of a double edge sword for distributors like us” said Makell Bird, founder of ADED.US. “We work hard to promote the fact that we are able to help independent musicians by distributing their music to stores and apps like Sony Music Unlimited. We even verify those direct links with the client. But, now we can focus on one store’s listing instead of two.”
It’s clear that this re-branding by Sony comes on the heels of Microsoft rebranding their service from Zune to Xbox Music. At the very least we applaud this decision because it serves as a form of consolidation. Having multiple brand names makes it confusing for the consumer to keep track.