New Sony Qriocity Music Streaming Service


Sony launched their new ‘Qriocity‘ service today in the UK & Ireland. This comes fresh on the heels on eircom’s MusicHub and it’s an indication of what is to come – music streaming war. If i said Eircom’s MusicHub will fail, i have no choice but to say this will also fail. Again, i’m very comfortable making that prediction. I believe there’s more chance of it failing than succeeding and Sony’s latest offering makes Eircom look good…

The Negatives

  • It’s not free (to anyone) so it’s a non runner right from the start in my eyes.
  • You can’t download music either, only stream it.
  • The name sucks and is too hard to market & remember.
  • The Qriocity name / network is also used as a video streaming service which just adds to the confusion.

The positives

  • works on the PS3
  • can sync existing music with itunes

That’s it in a nutshell. When i saw the headline ‘sony launch new music streaming service’, i got excited and i thought to myself “That’s Eircom MusicHub dead” but Eircom have nothing to worry about.

If this is the only kind of competition Eircom face, they’re gonna have it easier than i thought. I’d expect to see more services launch in 2011 though and i’d imagine this music streaming space will really start to heat up.

When will they learn….

The problem i feel with all of these subscription type streaming services is that nobody wants to pay a set monthly fee, no matter how much it is. It’s not just good enough to keep streaming free either, it has to be easy to use and work on multiple platforms which is why i feel this type of stuff from Sony just won’t work. But core services need to be free (ad supported), keep premium features paid & ad free – it’s the only system that works unless you’re someone like Apple who already have a massive user base, loyalty and a reputation for delivering stuff that works. In Apple’s case, ads would destroy and cheapen their image, unless they’re iAds of course 😉 but for everyone else, free is the only way to profit in my opinion.

Speaking of Apple, once they enter the ring, (which i suspect they will to protect their stranglehold on music) we’re gonna see plenty of blood and guts and i don’t think Apple will be the ones that get their insides ripped out. Say ‘music’ and people think itunes / ipods. They don’t think spotify or eircom music hub. Yet. That may change over time if Apple are caught sleeping.

Creative Commons License photo credit: ninethcloud

It’s in Apple’s best interests to give people the option of a cloud based music service. The day will come when music moves to the clouds, just like everything else. I don’t think we’re ready for it yet, i don’t think the technology is mature enough, but if you look at the time span between vinyl, tape, cd, mp3, ipod it’s getting narrower and narrower as times goes on.

Up until now we’ve always had music offline, the same way we’ve always stored documents offline. I’m really only beginning to store *all* documents online and arrange them properly. With music i’m beginning to use stream a bit more too (my service of choice being Grooveshark) but then again i’m not an average user, i’m more tech savvy than most. If i’m only starting to adopt this kind of stuff now (which has already been around in some form for years), it will be quite some time before joe bloggs gets to grips with it.

So because they’re not itunes, because they don’t offer anything for free and because of the name, i think Qriocity’s music service days are numbered and it’s only day 1 for them. Sony should admit defeat when it comes to Music.

How many people use MusicHub?

On a completely unrelated note, i find it incredible how little Eircom MusicHub is being talked about online. Twitter, Facebook, forums… it’s just not being talked about as much as i would have expected for a new, innovative online service so i can only assume it’s not being used by many…

A quick keyword search on facebook for ‘Eircom Music’ returns 2 results relating to MusicHub over the last 2 weeks. It’s a similar story on twitter. There is more discussion online about people being issued warning letters for suspected illegal downloading than there is about MusicHub.

2 thoughts on “New Sony Qriocity Music Streaming Service”

  1. Sean, have you ever used Pandora? I know it’s not available outside the US anymore, but there are ways around that. The reason I bring it up is because you mentioned that nobody wants to pay a set monthly fee, and Pandora has a nice answer to that: They give you something like 15-20 hours of free streaming music per month, and then you can pay $1 (each month) for unlimited listening beyond that. That model seems to be working very well for them. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they provide a kick-ass service.

  2. haven’t used pandora myself although i’ve seen it in action… it does seem like a fair compromise between free & paid although i doubt we’d ever see 99c monthly subscription services in ireland!

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