Sony has confirmed the rumours that its Connect Music download stores will be closed down in March next year. Connect was always stuck in between a rock and a hard place: it didn’t get the level of internal backing it needed and the offering lacked strong differentiation from iTunes.
The irony of Connect’s impending demise is that it is another reflection of the fact that Sony has lost much the personal music player game to Apple at the exact same time when their new focus of the Walkman strategy (i.e. mobile via Sony Ericsson) is faced with an aggressive new threat from Nokia. Nokia’s music strategy is focused squarely on the mass market, which lines it up against Sony Ericsson’s music phones…don’t those Xpress Music devices look intriguingly reminiscent of Sony Ericsson music phones? So whilst Apple may be a key strategic target for Nokia, Sony Ericsson may have more to lose in the near to mid term.
We’ve just published a short report on Nokia’s music strategy – click here for more details.