With Apple expected to announce changes to iTunes and a new line of iPod Touch devices at a music-themed conference later today, Sony is asserting their own place in the digital music marketplace by unveiling a new music and video subscription service at a conference in Berlin, also today. According to The Financial Times (subscription only), the service will first be marketed to owners of the Playstation 3, who number in the tens of millions, before segueing to other devices like phones, DVD players, portable music players and computers. The service will launch sometime next year.
Sony was once a player in the digital music market with their Connect Music Store, but when that service shuttered in early 2008, iTunes firmed up their leading position. Sony has since dabbled with other web-based services, giving Bandit.fm a trial run in Australia and New Zealand since late 2008 (an eventual global launch is planned). According to The Financial Times, Sony's new service has been in the works for two years, and will likely include music from all the major record labels and not just Sony.