MSN Music Shutting Down For Zune

Microsoft has announced that its MSN Music service will be discontinued. The announcement comes a few days before the official US launch of Microsoft's Zune player and its associated Zune Marketplace.

"Beginning November 14th, 2006, MSN Music will no longer offer music downloads through the MSN Music store... On November 14th, Microsoft will launch Zune, our exciting new digital media player. MSN will partner with the Zune team to make it simple for MSN Music users to find and download music from the new Zune Marketplace. The Zune Marketplace will enable you to purchase tracks individually or to buy a Zune Pass subscription to download as many songs as you want for a flat fee."

People with unredeemed credit (like myself) can request a refund for the unused amount on or after November 14th. No word if you'll be able to apply unused credit towards music or subscription packages on the Zune Marketplace.

"You can redeem your song certificate for MSN Music downloads through November 13th. Starting November 14th, you may request a refund for the value of your promotional pin or song certificate. Instructions for how to request a refund will be posted here on November 14th."

Microsoft will continue to support the DRM files purchased through the service after its closure.

View: MSN Music Closing

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26 Comments

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I would assume that Zune marketplace will carry the same selection and labels as MSN music...anyone know anything about this?

Quote - bolix said @ #15
what about URGE?

IIRC, it was a join venture with MTV - they don't actually own anything, its just Microsoft attaching its name to it to get Zune recognised.

Personally, I think Microsoft is simply getting out of the music business because there isn't the money there to justify the expense - let others fight over the customers, and Microsoft will provide the player.

Quote - kaiwai said @ #15.1

IIRC, it was a join venture with MTV - they don't actually own anything, its just Microsoft attaching its name to it to get Zune recognised.

Personally, I think Microsoft is simply getting out of the music business because there isn't the money there to justify the expense - let others fight over the customers, and Microsoft will provide the player.

I thought URGE came out long before there were even rumours of Zune. And doesn't URGE use PlaysForSure, which is incompatible with the Zune? The article itself states that there will be a "Zune Marketplace".

What will happen to Canada's Sympatico MSN Music Store? It's a joint-venture, with Bell Canada owning the vendor (Puretracks).

Paul Thurrott is reporting that MSN Music will forward users to either the Zune Music Store or REAL!!! Real has nothing to do with MS and even uses a completely different file format. Please explain this one.

Quote - Ryan V said @ #7.1
It was part of the antitrust dispute that they had two or three years ago. One of the conditions of the settlement was that...

True, it also puts Microsoft in the good books; plus, they're losing nothing out of it; the biggest threat to Real and Microsoft is Apple iTunes/iPod; they can either cannibalise the small market share they have, or combine together to take iTunes on, which would be of mutual benefit to all concerned.

As for Real, IIRC, Real licenced WMA technologies a while back; personally, I think Real should stop wasting what limited cash they have on their own file format, and instead work with Microsoft and adopt WMA (WMV + WMA Pro for videos) and concerntrate on the music side of the business.

With that being said, I'm avoiding online music sellers simply by virtue that I'm forced to purchase inferior quality music encoded at low bit rates; if they want to get me, allow me to download unencumbered music in FLAC format, so that it is the same quality, directly off the cd rather than it being compressed at a shocking low quality format.

Well, they aren't just carrying the credit from the MSN store over to the Zune Martketplace so I'd say they are closing MSN Music Store.

Microsoft closes the MSN music exactly on Nov 14th, the Zune release day in US. They also tell their existing and new customers to buy a Zune and continue with Zune MarkePlace or rhapsody from now on.

I think this is the first sign showing Microsoft takes serious decisions on Zune! I'd prefer a global release though...

-- Zune-Online.com

No wonder their support service has just sucked the past view weeks. I still can't get my music to play on Vista that supposively MSN Music "supports"