November 19, 2009, 12:00 AM

Sony to launch an online store selling music, movies, books and mobile apps

Sony today announced plans to launch an online store that sells music, movies, books and mobile apps, making it a rival to Apple’s iTunes online store. A Sony spokesman declined to say when the store, tentatively called Sony Online Service, would launch.

 

Sony today announced plans to leverage the Sony brand to launch an online store that sells music, movies, books and mobile apps, making it a direct rival to Apple Inc.’s popular iTunes online store. A Sony spokesman declined to say when the store, tentatively called Sony Online Service, would launch or what it would look like.

Sony aims to enable owners of a range of devices, from TVs to the Sony e-book Reader, to download videos, music and apps from the Sony Online Service. In addition to selling digital content, the store will allow consumers to use their online accounts to save, upload and share digital content. “Sony will have a one-to-one relationship with customers to offer subscription services, cloud storage of personal content, as well as unique entertainment,” said Howard Stringer, chairman, CEO and president at an investor meeting in Tokyo.

Sony plans to base the iTunes rival on the Sony PlayStation Network’s infrastructure, billing and log-in systems, said Kazuo Hirai, Sony executive vice president for networked products and services. The PlayStation Network, which launched in 2006, offers more than 450 games, 4,000 add-ons, 2,417 movies and 15,042 TV episodes available for download by its 33 million registered users.

Sony aims for its networked service business, which includes the new online store and the existing PlayStation Network, to reach annual revenues of $3.38 billion by March 31.

Sony is No. 12 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name).

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