Sony tackles Apple with video and music services

Sony is making a play for a slice of the online entertainment market with new TV and music offerings designed to trump the best that Apple has to offer.
The consumer electronics giant promised its new video on demand service would deliver “hundreds of box office hits” from big-name studios, and said its cloud-based music service will offer an extensive library of songs across a plethora of devices.
Sony will launch the VoD service in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK this fall, while Fujio Nishida, president of Sony Europe, said the Music Unlimited service would go live by the year-end, reported.
Both services pitch Sony into an increasingly competitive market for online TV and music services in which Apple is likely to be its main foe.
The firm yesterday slashed the price of its TV hard drive from $229 (€178) to $99, and confirmed it would offer TV shows from ABC, Fox, Disney Channel and the BBC.
However, while Apple has struggled to get other broadcasters on-board, Sony pledges to deliver content from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Lionsgate, MGM, NBC Universal International Television, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney, and Warner Brothers.
On the music front, Sony is confident the cloud element of Music Unlimited will make it competitive against Apple’s iTunes.
It says the service will initially offer access to “millions of songs,” through its TV sets, Blu-ray players and home theatre systems, VAIO laptops, and PlayStation 3 games console, and will be expanded to cover other portable devices in future.
Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony’s Networked Products & Services division, said the service will “revolutionize” the way users “create their digital entertainment content,” by making it easier to discover and organize music.