This spring, users of Sony’s PlayStation consoles will get a new perk: Access to Spotify’s massive library of streaming music. PlayStation Music, a co-branded implementation of Spotify, will replace Sony’s own unsuccessful stab at the all-you-can-stream music business.
This is good news for everyone involved.
For Spotify, a tight integration with the most popular gaming console in the U.S. can only help its growth. Despite the loss of Taylor Swift’s catalog, the service recently topped 15 million paying subscribers, a number that has tripled over the course of two years. Like other major streaming services, Spotify has woven its way into connected cars, speakers, and other devices. But this is the first time the service has integrated with a major gaming console. When PlayStation Music rolls out in late March, it will put the Spotify signup screen in front of millions of potential new subscribers.
The new PlayStation-Spotify integration comes at the expense of Music Unlimited, Sony’s own proprietary streaming service. By shuttering Music Unlimited, Sony is conceding defeat to the likes of Spotify, which simply does a superior job of running a music subscription service. The move also lets Sony simplify its focus, content to let Spotify handle all the heavy lifting of licensing and delivering millions of songs to users.
The new service will let gamers stream any of Spotify’s 30 million tracks in the background while they’re blowing the heads off of evildoers. This option is obviously a no-brainer for existing Spotify subscribers, but for the rest of PlayStation’s users, the new service will come with a free trial in attempt to reel in paying customers.
For its part, Microsoft shows no signs of abandoning its proprietary streaming music service for Xbox users.