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Sony to Unveil Streaming Video Service

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Apple (s AAPL) isn’t the only consumer electronics company allegedly planning to unveil a streaming service today; according to a report in the Financial Times, Sony (s SNE) will also announce its own streaming and video subscription service that will be available across a wide range of devices.

The service will initially draw on the customer base Sony has built up through users logged into its PlayStation Network on PS3 and PSP gaming devices, but the PlayStation Network will be just the starting point for the new service. According to the FT, streaming video and audio could also become available on Sony “Walkman music players, Vaio computers, Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players and Sony Ericsson mobile phones” in the future.

The Sony service is expected to launch next year, as connectivity across Sony devices proliferates. The FT reports that Sony president Howard Stringer “said last year that 90 percent of Sony products would be able to connect to each other and the Internet by 2011.”

This isn’t Sony’s first foray into offering up a digital storefront for media on its devices; it previously launched a service called Sony Connect that sold DRM-protected music files that were only accessible on Sony products. The service proved unsuccessful and was shuttered in 2007, leaving Apple to take over the digital music scene with iTunes.

This time around, Sony will face significant competition from Apple again, as the latter is expected to announce streaming capabilities at an event held this morning in San Francisco, Calif. More on that event later.

Related content on GigaOM Pro: 3 Things Apple iTV Must Do to Succeed (subscription required)