Sony Music India is launching Sony Music Jive music streaming and downloading service globally with Sony Xperia Smartphones . This service allows consumers to download and stream music from the Sony Music catalog on the Sony Xperia Smartphones. What’s interesting is that the service is powered by Infibeam’s Indent music platform.
Last year, Infibeam had entered into a multi-crore digital service agreement with Sony Music Entertainment India, for launching three products including an international music streaming service called Jive HD. It seems that Jive has inked license agreements with other music labels and is also available on Windows 8 platform.
The company claims a catalog of 2 million songs across genres, including Indian regional and Bollywood music.
Pricing: This service will be available for free to the customers only for the first six months after the purchase of their phone. After this period, consumers are expected to opt for paid subscription. With more paid music streaming services being launched, it appears that even Sony is hoping for its consumers to become paid customers over time based on their experience with the service.
Formats: The songs can be downloaded in MP3 format. It is not clear if the songs are DRM enabled at this point since the service will be free initially. Only when the paid version kicks in actively will we know if the music is DRM enabled.
Devices: Sony Music will first launch this service on Sony Xperia Smartphones. These phones will have Sony Music Jive embedded in them. Over time they intend to make it available in other operating systems integrating it with operators in way to expand the market of this app.
Other Partnerships to Provide Entertainment Content: Last year, Sony had entered into a partnership with Hungama Mobile to offer entertainment content over Xperia phones. Prior to that, BigFlix had also entered into partnership with Sony to preload its BigFlix Plus, Movie On Demand app, on Sony’s Android powered tablets and Bravia Internet enabled TVs. Sony had then hinted at extending this app to Xperia Smartphones as well.
It would be interesting to see how Sony positions Sony Music Jive once the paid version becomes active in the market. Sony Music also intends to offer other features like exclusive content to Sony Music Jive users from Sony Music’s latest international and Bollywood soundtracks.
Presently, Nokia offers billing for users through mobile operators like Vodafone, Airtel and Reliance Communications for its Nokia Music service, as well as offline billing through Oxigen. Saavn* although does not allow download of music, has recently introduced the feature on offline music playing feature. Note that there are other free services present in the market like Dhingana and Times Internet’s* Gaana app.
On Competition (Nikhil adds): Sony, in its press statement, explicitly points towards competitors, laying claim to being better than them:
Differentiating itself from Nokia Music Unlimited store (offers only download), Saavn (streaming only) and iTunes (consumer paid download), Sony Music Jive- allows Xperia consumers to download and stream music for free.
If the cost of the music is built into the cost of the device, then the music isn’t exactly free, so this claim appears to be false. Of course, what they are NOT, is device agnostic. Even Nokia music used to allow you to play music on the desktop. (I don’t have a Nokia device, so don’t know if they still do this)
Disclosure: Saavn and Times Internet (which owns Gaana.com) are advertisers with MediaNama