On Wednesday Sony Network Entertainment International announced a €4.99/US $4.99 per month tier, called "Access," to its Music Unlimited subscription service.
Sony is employing a familiar marketing strategy by placing a premium on mobility. This new tier establishes a basic level of services that provides listeners access to Music Unlimited on PCs and Sony PS3 gaming consoles. The existing tier, which costs €9.99/US $9.99 per month and has access to the same catalog, adds access from a variety of Android-based smartphone and tablet apps.
The lower tier of service now anchors the higher level of service. Vice President & General Manager, Global Digital Video and Music Services, tells Billboard.biz customer research shows mobile provides a higher level of utility most Sony customers expect. "Obviously music for a vast majority of people is a mobile experience. A lot of our focus is going to be on the premium [service] but we needed to have a second tier for folks who that option is not quite as important."
Music Unlimited is Sony's cloud-based music subscription service with 16 million licensed tracks. The service is available in 17 countries including the world's two largest recorded music markets, the United States and Japan. Music Unlimited can be accessed through Sony consumer electronic devices such as PlayStation3 gaming consoles, Bravia televisions, Blu-ray DVD players. Music Unlimited apps can also be installed on Android and iOS mobile apps.
In addition, to target consumers beyond the people buying its consumer electronics, Sony has introduced a 14-day, no-credit card service trial of the €9.99/US $9.99 premium service.