Kellie Pickler has arrived as an artist. Indebted perhaps to a long run on American Idol, her first two albums had decidedly pop leanings in keeping with her introduction to a national audience via America’s most popular TV program. Not that she wasn’t successful in doing so. A million and a half albums and 3 million tracks later, (including the platinum selling Taylor Swift co-authored ditty, “Best Days of Your Life”), Kellie was a regular on the talk show circuit and main support for the biggest arena acts in Country music. Now it’s time to blaze a new path. “When I auditioned for American Idol I was not an artist,” the season five alum admits. “So from Idol to the first record to this record, I really tried to find myself because there’s a difference between a singer and an artist.
The Music Unlimited service sat down with Kellie Pickler at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to talk about, 100 Proof, her most rewarding and sure to be most critically received new record. The album harkens back to Country music’s golden era without sounding dusty or losing any modern production value. In other words, she’s not making music for Tammy Wynette fans as much as she wants her fans to know about Tammy Wynette. Kellie discusses some of her favorite songs on the record, including, “Tough,” “The Letter (to Daddy)” and “Mother’s Day.”
The 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show is officially over and we’re all back in our offices and recovering from what was a great time in Las Vegas. We made a handful of big announcements at CES this year, including the expansion of the Music Unlimited service’s into more countries and the fact that the Music Unlimited service is coming to iOS devices in the first quarter of this year.
Last Wednesday at the show we were part of of a very special event: The wedding of Internet and TV. Sony devices and services bring together the best of both those things into an extremely cohesive experience and the event at the Bellagio Wedding Chapel was a great way to symbolize that.
If you were following us on Twitter or Facebook earlier in the week you saw updates from the CES show floor, specifically the Sony booth, something we did to bring the experience home to those who couldn’t be with us in Las Vegas. We hope you enjoyed our live coverage of the event, all the photos we took and everything else from this year’s show. You can visit Sony.com/CES for even more from CES 2012.
Since we’re very much in “recap” mode here we thought we’d highlight some of the news stories and more that expanded upon the news we made at CES.
Yahoo/Tecca: (W)hy does Sony think its media offerings are going to take off? It’s as simple as the lineup of new products the company is releasing over the next 12 months. the Music and Video unlimited services will be available on Sony game systems, tablets, smartphones, and Bravia HDTVs, and if you own more than one of these devices, the experience is designed to be seamless.
Billboard: Regardless of the devices, Sony is aiming to put together an integrated experience. “One of the things we’re working on longer term is a user experience that has one common [user interface] for all content but also integrates the content in a way that’s very unique,” Michael Aragon, Vice President & General Manager, Global Digital Video and Music Services at Sony Network Entertainment, told Billboard earlier this month. “For Sony, what our strength is is our ability to take these various services and have them integrated in a common [user interface]with one wallet and one account.”
Forbes: Kaz Hirai now on stage talking about the significance of ecosystems and common platforms. Says products should complement each other. Sony’s “new user experience” — a rather generic term — will be based on Sony Entertainment Network, which will work with one common ID and a digital wallet. There is Video Unlimited across Sony TVs, phones, tablets, PCs, game consoles. Sony has Music Unlimited for music across devices. Global catalog of over 12 million songs and in 13 countries now. New features include the ability to find new music based on the music you’re currently listening to. “Discovery is easier than ever.”
Variety: Sony Entertainment Network is the linchpin of the conglom’s efforts to push premium content across its products, allowing users to stream or download content to myriad branded devices via a single ID and digital wallet. Music Unlimited is a big piece of SEN, with a global catalog of 12 million songs available in four new countries, Hirai revealed, bringing its total footprint to 13. Its counterpart for TV and movies, Video Unlimited, is in nine.
AllThingsD: Sony says its “Music Unlimited” service will be available for Apple’s iPhones and iPods – but not iPads – within the next three months. The subscription service launched last year without any mobile options at all, then expanded to include some devices running Google’s Android operating system. Sony says the service now has a million users, but won’t disclose how many of them are paying monthly fees and how many are using a free trial.
VentureBeat: Sony’s Music Unlimited streaming music service has been available on Android devices and PCs for some time now, but iOS users have been left out — until now. The electronics company will offer a free iPhone and iPad app for Music Unlimited at some point this quarter, Tim Schaaff, head of Sony Entertainment Network said today at a small CES media gathering.
Finally, you can watch SEN head Tim Schaff talking about all the big CES news here at AllThingsD as well as in a Forbes video below.
The upcoming app will allow you to bring the Music Unlimited service along with you on your iPhone or iPod. When combined with all the Sony connected devices you can already access the Music Unlimited service on that’s an incredible number of ways subscribers can listen to high quality music wherever they are.
Look for the Music Unlimited iOS app to be available this quarter.
What an exciting second day at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show. The Sony booth here featured lots of great activity, from presentations on user experience to a discussion between Men in Black 3 director Barry Sonnenfeld and make-up legend Rick Baker on some of the alien creature designs that will be seen in this year’s blockbuster release.
For the Sony Entertainment Network yesterday offered the second in a one-two punch combination: After Monday’s announcement of the Music Unlimited service’s expansion into more countries we were thrilled to unveil the number of tracks in the Music Unlimited service has ballooned to 15 million. That’s 15 million songs that can be accessed anywhere through a variety of connected devices.
Day Three has lots more in store, culminating in the much-anticipated marriage of the Internet and TV. If you haven’t checked out the happy couple’s wedding invitation you can do so right here.
You can view photos from Day Two on our Facebook page and be sure to like us there and follow us on Twitter for more updates throughout the day.
Yesterday we celebrated the kick-off of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in a big way. With Twitter and Facebook profiles that allow us to bring the show to those of you who aren’t with us here in Las Vegas our presence here is better than ever.
You can view photos from Day One here at CES here on Facebook and below you can watch video of the opening day press conference, including lots of great information about the Sony Entertainment Network and all the great ways we’re bringing video and music to you all on a variety of devices and platforms.
Continue to stay tuned here Tuesday and Wednesday. And don’t forget Sony.com/CES, where you can catch everything Sony throughout the show.
There are a lot of things to look forward to about the new year. One of the biggest around the halls of Sony is, of course, the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Sony Entertainment Network will be at CES 2012 in full force. If you’re attending as well you’ll be able to come by and say “hello” to us right next to the Information Platform that’s part of the Sony booth. In addition to SEN’s dedicated presence we’ll also be all over the rest of the booth as PS3, tablets, BRAVIA TVs, and other devices display connect to both the Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services, showing giving consumers easy access to digital entertainment anytime, anywhere. how powerful those services are and how versatile they can be for entertainment that can be found wherever you go.
One of the events at and around CES this we’re most looking forward to is the “wedding” we’re hosting between TV and the internet. Specifically the wedding between Sony Entertainment Network and Bravia televisions and other home theater devices. We’ve got butterflies in our stomachs as we anticipate this fantastic event, which will take place at the Bellagio Wedding Chapel on Wednesday the 11th. While this special event is exclusive to our media contacts, look for lots of great photos and more from that. You can even view the wedding announcement online.
Even if you can’t be in Las Vegas with us you can still follow along with the action by following us on Twitter or Liking our page on Facebook. We’ll be bringing you updates and photos from the show floor, from panels and other events and more throughout the week. And each day we’ll be providing a recap of the previous day right here on our brand new blog.
CES is, of course, an incredibly exciting time and we’re equally excited to be bringing as much of the events there as possible to those of you following along from wherever you are.