Sony Ericsson to offer music download service

Sony Ericsson is expected to unveil plans for a music download service later this year. When the handset joint venture launched its latest music phone under the Walkman brand in May, it said that it may expand its current PlayNow service (which offers ringtones and games) to also include music. Earlier this month, Nokia announced its intention to acquire music distribution company Loudeye for $600 million and set up a music service under its own brand.

Ericsson already provides the backend technology that lets carriers power their own download music services, and the joint venture has been selling Walkman-branded music phones like hot cakes. Meanwhile, partner Sony owns a chunk of the music label Sony BMG and also operates the Sony Connect digital media distribution service.

For more about Sony Ericsson's intentions to launch a music download service:
- read this article from the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)