Sony exec denies earlier report of iTunes withdrawal

A Sony executive has denied a report from earlier in the week that suggested the company was considering pulling its music from the iTunes Store. In an earlier interview with The Age discussing the company’s Music Unlimited streaming service, which launches in the U.S.

Australia, and New Zealand today, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Michael Ephraim said, ‘‘If we do [get mass take up] then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes? Currently we do. We have to provide it to iTunes as that’s the format right now.” He continued, ‘‘Publishers are being held to ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold.’’ Sony Network Entertainment COO Brandon Layden has since spoken with SAI, denying the idea that the company is threatening to withdrawal from the store.

“Sony Music as I understand it has no intention of withdrawing from iTunes, they’re one of our biggest partners in the digital domain. I think those words were either taken out of context or the person who spoke them was unclear on the circumstances.” As the second-largest of the “big four” record companies, Sony controls a large number of important artists and a large percentage of the music available on the iTunes Store.