Sony is relaunching its streaming music service for PlayStation Network, and this time it’s bringing in a partner with ample expertise in streaming music services: Spotify. The existing Sony Music Unlimited service will be closed to make way for the new PlayStation Music service powered by Spotify, but Sony points out that nearly all countries that currently have access to Music Unlimited will be part of the launch group of 41 countries getting PlayStation Music with Spotify when it arrives this spring.
PlayStation Music will be available first on PlayStation consoles and Xperia tablets and smartphones, with platform expansion to Sony’s other devices including TVs presumably planned for later launches, should the initial rollout go well. The Spotify partnership means that PlayStation Music users will be able to link their PSN ID with Spotify, and then use their PlayStation payment options to subscribe to Spotify’s Premium service. Spotify’s 30 million-track library and 1.5 billion playlists will then be available to PlayStation Music users, and the app will be able to run in the background while running PlayStation games on consoles.
Users will also be able to build their own collections with tracks from Spotify’s library and create playlists (as well as access their existing playlists if they’re already Spotify users). Music Unlimited will be closing up shop on March 29, 2015, so expect a launch of PlayStation Music sometime on or before that date. Existing PlayStation Music subscribers who have an active subscription as of February 28, 2015, will get a free 30-day extension through to the closing date, and will also get a special Spotify Premium trial offer when the new service launches.
Sony clearly didn’t like the way its homegrown streaming service was working out, and thus wanted to tap Spotify to take advantage of its existing success in the space. Given Spotify’s success with playlists and creating a convenient, easy listening experience with streamed content, it seems like a wise choice.