Sony has been pushing its streaming cloud music service Music Unlimited for years now, but offering has failed to gain any significant traction in the market, so the company is shutting it down later this year. In its place comes a new partnership with Spotify to bring that service to the PlayStation 3, PS4, and select Xperia devices under the guise of PlayStation Music. Here's the PlayStation Blog with the news:
The new service will launch initially on PS4 and PS3, as well as Xperia smartphones and tablets. You’ll of course be able to listen to your favorite playlists – including existing playlists from current Spotify users as well as Spotify curated playlists – and enjoy the service on all of Spotify’s supported devices.
Prior to the launch of Spotify on PlayStation Music, the Music Unlimited service will close in all 19 countries on March 29, 2015. Nearly all of these countries will be among the 41 markets where PlayStation Music featuring Spotify will be available at launch, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil. From February 28, 2015, Music Unlimited users with active subscriptions will receive up to 30 days of free access through March 29, 2015.
I subscribed to Music Unlimited for a year back in 2013 and while I liked the service, it was never going to overtake the major players in that space. I loved the idea of using the MU app on PS4 to play games while my favorite songs replaced the terrible licensed music used in games like Need For Speed: Rivals, but the app was unstable and crashed often. Sometimes it would get stuck in an endless buffer. It offered a lot of my favorite artists, but the catalog was clogged with MIDI synthesizer karaoke versions of "real" songs. Search for The Eagles, for instance, and the only "Hotel California" you'd find sounded like it came from a poorly made Sega Genesis game. So: great idea, poor execution. These days I just use Amazon's Prime Music service to stream songs to my PCs and mobile devices, so I'm not really in the market to pay for another music service, but I know that Spotify is popular and will surely be welcome in the PlayStation ecosystem. I just hope the app is more stable than Music Unlimited.