With the recent launch of Google Music All AccessRdio jumping into the Vdio arena, Spotify celebrating one year in Australian, and Apple’s continued absence in the market following ongoing licensing roadblocks, music streaming services continue to be the primary focus of the industry’s biggest movers and shakers.

To prove the point, Sony today issued a statement announcing their plans to fund a multi-million dollar advertising campaign to promote Music Unlimited, their subscription based, cloud-enabled, music streaming service. 

Music Unlimited first ‘soft launched’ in Australia 18 months ago, but now Sony Network Entertainment International are giving the music service a seven-figure boost in advertising and awareness in a campaign that will saturate TV, online, and “outdoor and digital media,” reads Sony’s press release.

Australia is being used as a testing grounds for the Music Unlimited campaign before it is being rolled out into other markets, says Sony Network Entertainment International’s regional Marketing Director, Alison Turner.

“This is a significant investment for Sony,” Ms Turner said. “We believe Australia, with its high awareness of music streaming services and wide take-up of technology devices, is a fantastic destination for us to premiere this campaign to support the Music Unlimited service. We will closely review the results for the Music Unlimited service in Australia in the coming months to help shape the way we roll out the campaign in other markets,” she added.

Music Unlimited is available on a wide variety of platforms, including Sony mobile devices, its Bravia HDTV line, Blu-Ray disc players, Walkmans, as well as their PlayStation 3 videogame console, and its 100 million PlayStation Network account holders. But it’s not a Sony exclusive, opening themselves to the Android and iOS market through mobile, tablet, and touch devices, technically giving it the most exposure than any of its music streaming rivals. “There are a lot of consumers who aren’t using, or in some case even aware of, music streaming services yet, and those are the customers that we are targeting with this campaign.” Alison Turner, Sony

Subscriptions for Music Unlimited are in two brackets, at $7.99 a month ad-free on PC, MAC, and PlayStation, and $12.99 a month for mobile devices.

The advertising campaign, created by agency Work Club and launched last weekend with a primetime commercial aired during The Voice, uses the slogan: “We know what we like? The music streaming service for all of us,” boasting a song catalogue in the millions and flexible connectivity with its cloud-based storage, meaning playlists and music library additions can be adjusted on the go.

Speaking to The Australian, Ms Turner says the Music Unlimited Campaign aims for a mass market, “rather than competing for the early adopter consumer chased by our competitors.”

“There are a lot of consumers who aren’t using, or in some case even aware of, music streaming services yet, and those are the customers that we are targeting with this campaign,” added the regional marketing director, saying Music Unlimited was targeted at a “broad demographic… The majority of these people are (aged) 25-plus, so are not digital natives and are used to buying and owning music rather than streaming it, so they require more education of music streaming services in general.”

Ms Turner notes Music Unlimited have “absolutely not” missed the boat when it comes to the streaming service boom Down Under. Though Music Unlimited launched 18 months, it was swiftly followed by a long list of rival streaming music services, with the Swedish-based Spotify and French-based Deezer being merely the tip of a very crowded iceberg.

After establishing its foothold as Australia’s market leader (despite withholding their actual subscriber numbers), Spotify is expanding its services after introducing streaming Charts and ‘going social’ with the recent addition of their “Follow” tab, by focusing on its ‘Discover’ component, as The Verge reports.

The streaming service – which is already heavily integrated with Facebook – has installed its own news feed that focuses on music discovery, hoping to harness its million-strong userbase and song library hand in hand in a new ‘home’ page.

The Discover function offers tailored recommendations based on algorithms tuned to music users listen to, playlists they’ve crafted, and songs others have posted, as well as content from partners like gig trackers Songkick, tastemakers Pitchfork, and the music recommendations service Spotify recently purchased, Tunigo, (as TechCrunch points out).

Meanwhile, internet radio service Pandora recently announced a partnership with Facebook through a new Timeline App, essentially playing catch-up with a feature that helped Spotify rise to mass saturation in such a short space of time through the social media website.

Pandora, may be the undisputed global streaming service leader – last month popping the cork on reaching 200 million subscribers – but has yet to offer its enormous userbase enhanced Facebook connectivity. The new Timeline App will publish Pandora users’ “activity to their Facebook Timeline and curate their musical identity,” according to the official Pandora blog. “the teams are working like crazy to make it available… In a few weeks, we’ll launch Google Play Music All Access for iOS.”- Sundar Pichai, Google

“For those who want to share, Pandora’s new timeline app serves as another platform for music exposure and discovery, which benefits listeners, artists and advertisers,” said Tom Conrad, Pandora Chief Technology Officer and EVP of Product. “With Facebook’s recent addition of the Music section for timeline, we’re now offering personalised social sharing experiences for every type of listener.”

Search engine titans Google are also looking to expand their reach. After revealing their own music streaming service Google Play Music All Access at their annual I/O conference, there were industry concerns about the cloud-based service being restricted to the Android operating system and Google+, it’s potential success hindered by its exclusivity.

But IGN now reports that the Google’s Spotify competitor is expected to roll out on iOS in the near futre, according to Google’s Sundar Pichai.

Speaking to the audience at the recent D11 conference, Pichai said, “the teams are working like crazy to make it available… In a few weeks, we’ll launch Google Play Music All Access for iOS.”

The service offers up to 20,000 songs in Cloud storage as well as music streaming to users for a minimum of $7.99 a month, and going cross-platform enhances its sense of competition with market leaders like Spotify, Pandora, and the slow-building Twitter #Music. Then there’s ‘Daisy’, the working title of the music streaming service spawned from the company Beats By Dre, with Trent Reznor as the Chief Creative Officer which received a healthy cash injection of $60 Million from James Packer and investors.

While other IT companies seem to forge ahead with the music streaming service plans, Apple remains conspicuously absent from the arms race as it continues to hit road blocks with its proposed streaming service. The proposed ‘iRadio’ streaming service has appeared cursed ever since Apple failed to negotiate terms with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in the launch of their iPhone 5, and subsequently iTunes 11.

They than hit another stumbling block over proposed royalty rates in March this year, deemed “too cheap” by industry figures, before managing to wrangle licensing deals with Warner Music and Universal, only to run into troubles with Sony once more over publishing rights.

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