Sony Ericsson Plans Music Store, Pushes DRM-Free Options

Sony Ericsson recently announced plans to deliver a broader music store offering, a move that closely follows entrances from both Nokia and Vodafone in the UK.

Sony Ericsson is not planning its release until the spring of next year, according to information disclosed Monday.  The mobile music heavyweight will offer a total of five million songs, licensed from major labels and various independents.  Sony Ericsson also noted that a “majority” of its store will feature DRM-free content, though obvious licensing issues remain.

The store represents a broadening of PlayNow, an initiative that currently offers ringtones, themes, wallpapers, games, and a limited selection of full-track, over-the-air (OTA) downloads.   The upcoming store will be multi-platform, a more common approach to mobile music commerce.  Currently, PlayNow is planted in 32 countries, according to the company.  The stepped-up, “PlayNow Arena” represents the next phase of the vision, which first started in 2004 as a ringtone-focused preview and purchasing concept.