Sony is upping its game in the music streaming space.
In a clear play to stay competitive with the likes of Spotify and Rdio, the entertainment and tech giant is updating its iOS Music Unlimited app to offer offline playback and high-quality audio. And its dangling lower, subscription price points to entice new customers.
Users of iPhone and iPod Touch devices will now be able to store music on the devices for listening when Internet connection isn’t available, Sony Network Entertainment’s Director of Music Services Anu Kirk revealed in a blog posted Monday.
The offline listening feature is already available with its key streaming rivals, and it brings Music Unlimited’s iOS users up-to-speed with their Android counterparts.
Kirk also offered this brief walk-through of the update.
Music Unlimited boasts a licensed catalog of 20 million songs and the updated iOS app will offer music in 320kbps AAC high fidelity audio while streaming.
Kirk notes the 1.3 update will go live here “very soon” – when Apple gives the all-clear for its arrival in the app ecosystem.
Sony is also hoping to catch new users with a cut-price subscription offer. For a limited time, PlayStation Plus members can buy a 12-month premium subscription for $41.99, a cut of about 65% from the regular rate. Those without a PlayStation Plus membership can pay $60 for the same premium offering, a sum that’s about 50% lower than the usual price and a sharp reduction on the premium version of Spotify.
Originally launched in 2010, Sony's cloud-based subscription service can be accessed through Sony consumer electronic devices such as PlayStation3 gaming consoles, Bravia televisions, Blu-ray DVD players.
Music Unlimited has recently expanded into Latin America and is available in more than a dozen markets including the United States, Japan, the Netherlands and Belgium.