Sony Connect Faces Disconnect, Shutdown Imminent

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Struggling digital music service Sony Connect is now facing a shutdown, according to information shared with Digital Music News over the weekend.

The sources, both senior-level executives close to the organization, noted that some staffers “had already been laid off,” while others were “negotiating exit packages”.  The executives were unable to confirm an exact termination date, though the process could be finalized within the next few months.

Media representatives at Sony could not respond after hours, though an executive with some ties to the unit described the news as “unsurprising” given the lack of traction among consumers.  Details related to various global divisions remain unclear.  Meanwhile,the move closely follows the closure of Sony Music Studios in Santa Monica, and the shutdown of a similar facility in Manhattan.

For Sony, the development reflects a troubled showing in digital music and media.  The Sony Network Walkman series has largely struggled against the iPod, a fate shared by innumerable other manufacturers.  And in the current landscape, players are interlinked with companion media management and ecommerce solutions, a shift defined by the highly-successful iPod+iTunes. Meanwhile, sources noted that the shutdown had been “in the works for weeks,” though concrete steps first materialized late last week.