In what appears to be Sony's success in its efforts to link its hardware with online content-delivery services, the Japanese electronics behemoth said on Wednesday it has launched an online streaming-music service, the Wall Street journal reported.

The service, which will first be available in U.K. and Ireland, will be made available in the U.S. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, as well as other European countries in 2011.

With the launch of the online music streaming service, Sony aims to score over Apple's iTunes, which sells copies of music and movies that are stored on hard drives or device memory. Sony will offer subscriptions to a library of six million songs, WSJ said. ... Sony's service will deliver the songs over the Internet to PlayStation 3 consoles, Bravia televisions, Vaio computers and other Sony products.

Sony had said in September it would launch a streaming music service this year as it pursued a strategy to leverage its strength in the hardware segment.

We didn't think we could appeal to users with the same kind of model as iTunes, so we decided to make this [Web-based] and maintain that music playlist Kazuo Hirai, a top Sony executive looking after network products and services group, was quoted by WSJ as saying.

The service currently is available only on Sony's Web-connected TV sets and Blu-ray players sold this year, but it will work for nearly all PlayStation 3 game consoles and Vaio computers. Mr. Hirai said Sony plans to introduce portable devices that work with the service, the WSJ said.