Music playback on PlayStation consoles gets a boost today with the arrival of PlayStation Music featuring Spotify, which replaces Sony’s Music Unlimited service. The app is launching in 41 markets worldwide, allowing most of Spotify’s 60 million users — three-fourths of whom use the ad-supported free version of the service — to stream music while they play games on their PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4.
You can use PlayStation Music completely for free: It doesn’t require a PlayStation Plus membership, and you can use it with a free Spotify account or Spotify Premium, which costs $9.99 per month.
Representatives for Sony and Spotify told Polygon during a demo of the PS4 app last week that the two companies worked together closely on PlayStation Music, and it shows: “Seamless” is the best word we can think of to describe the experience.
Eric Lempel, vice president for Sony Network Entertainment’s business and operations in the Americas, explained that for third-party services on PlayStation consoles, Sony usually lets those outside companies handle the app development themselves. Not so for PlayStation Music and Spotify.
“This was a real collaboration [between Sony and Spotify], to make sure it really fits the PlayStation audience and kind of stays true to what Spotify is,” said Lempel.
Upon opening the Spotify app on PS3 or PS4, you can link your existing Spotify account or create a new one. A 30-day free trial is available for new Spotify users, and people who previously subscribed to Music Unlimited get a 60-day trial. The linking process is simpler if you use the Spotify mobile app — the app can see your console on the Wi-Fi network, so you can hook up your Spotify account to your system without having to type in your login information.
PlayStation Music lets you stream music of your choosing while you’re playing games, just like Music Unlimited, which had been available on PS4 since the system’s launch. The streaming option remains less flexible than what was available on PS3 — the PS4 didn’t support MP3 playback at all at first, and it’s still impossible to store music on the console — but now all you need is a free Spotify account, whereas Music Unlimited was a paid service.