Sony Ericsson's Walkman Phone Range To Offer Free Music Downloads

To many, Sony's Walkman is synonymous with the sound of music and it is not surprising that rumours have surfaced about Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd apparent interest in launching an unlimited music download service that could possibly rival Nokia's own Musicstation/Comes with Music Scheme.

Of course, both lag behind the iPhone and Apple's absurdly easy path to success. Sony Ericsson, together with Motorola, have had a rough 2008 and bundling some headsets with unlimited music could potentially help push the prospects of a disastrous year even further.

According to Financial Times which broke the news, Sony Ericsson, which refused to comment on the story, will announce the service by the end of the month with a Christmas launch date firmly stuck on the schedule and it is also unknown whether Cybershot phones will also be included.

Sony currently has agreements with all the record labels except for Universal Music which is the largest of the quintet for its current Playnow Arena which offers 5 million music tracks at 99 Eurocents (roughly 80p each), available without Digital Rights management.

The Inquirer believes that SE new service would be a slight modification of the current Playnow Arena service.

So how could all this pan out? Music labels, the one which are making the most money out of it, could decide to rule them all and essentially form a cartel and provide with a free music service that rivals radios (you heard that on first).

This cartel could then pressurise the likes of Apple and Amazon to toe in and milk the rest of the distribution chain to their advantage.