It feels like there’s a music download store on every virtual street corner. Sony Ericsson is the latest to plan an Internet music portal, striking back at rivals Apple and Nokia.
Sony Ericsson plans to release an upgraded PlayNow service next spring, The Wall Street Journal reported. The new music service will be for both computer and mobile handsets.
What’s interesting to note is that PlayNow will have the support of not only Sony BMG Music Entertainment (duh) but also the three other major music labels — the Universal Music Group, EMI Group, and Warner Music Group Corp.
“The situation today is that we have offers on the table of 5 million music tracks, as a first step, from all the majors, as well as local and independent labels,” Martin Blomkvist, Sony Ericsson’s head of content acquisition and management, told the WSJ.
PlayNow is available in 29 countries for Sony Ericsson phones. The company has 100 revenue-sharing agreements in place.
Sony Ericsson will offer different music selections in the revamped PlayNow store depending on the market and the mobile carrier. It plans to share revenue with the carriers from not only over-the-air music downloads but also the sale of computer games, ringtones, and phone wallpapers.
Sony Ericsson’s music will be “competitively priced” for each market. Consumers will be able to pay for the music via their mobile phone bill or with a payment card.
The revamped PlayNow is expected to offer music from all the labels in digital rights management-protected MP3s and Windows Media so the store will work with non-Sony Ericsson phones and computers.
Sony Ericsson, which also announced three new handsets, including two new Walkman-branded music phones, will be using the TrackID service. It will let consumers identify a piece of music off the radio and then buy it off the PlayNow service.
So Sony Ericsson will have the revamped PlayNow. Apple has iTunes. And Nokia has Ovi. That leaves Samsung and LG Electronics without announced music store plans.