Microsoft set to launch a music streaming service this month

The Telegraph is exclusively reporting that Microsoft is planning to launch a streaming music service, similar to Spotify, later this month.

The service will allow users to stream music for free and also download to own. Peter Bale, executive producer of MSN, Microsoft's news and entertainment portal, told The Telegraph exclusively: "Music is an important area for Microsoft. We are looking at launching a music streaming service imminently. It will be a similar principle to Spotify but we are still examining how the business model will work."

Spotify users can stream tracks for free from the web service which is supported by advertising. If a user pays for a Spotify subscription then for £9.99 a month those tracks will not be interrupted by advertising.

Bale also hinted that the service could be tied in with Microsoft's Xbox gaming network, Xbox Live, but would not confirm how Microsoft would link the services. It's not yet clear what Microsoft will charge for the service and whether there will be an ad-supported service at no charge.

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33 Comments

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I hope Microsoft attempts keeping it alive. I've seen too many tries by Microsoft, but no real strong backing (latest one being MSN Soapbox).

They already have this...Zune Pass...$15 a month....unlimited music....Streaming or downloads.

But you can trust Microsoft to make three different versions of every single product:

Microsoft music streaming (MyStream maybe)
Zune Pass
Bing Music (Oh they will make it.)

Just like Skydrive, Live Mesh, and Office Live. They need to combine, not seperate.

Lol, I think it might be different from the Zune Pass though, or why else would it be offered. Though it'd probably be better with a Zune brand and integration. Bing Music? Unlikely, but maybe there could be a lyrics search or a search category that will look up the Zune site for music information.

Nice to have competition. But only better than Spotify will do for me. :D

That is, not just ad financed and free, but cheap subscription and zero ads at all too. With a gigantic music library in an uncluttered interface, and OS independent.

Fantastic news. The music industry is finally starting to upgrade to the 21st century, and good on 'em :)

... I bet Spotify are soiling themselves though. Microsoft have a habit of destroying startups like Spotify

Microsoft will either make an amazing app that trumps Spotify, or it will fail miserably and end up buying them out instead.

what said,
Microsoft will either make an amazing app that trumps Spotify, or it will fail miserably and end up buying them out instead.

That does usually happen, haha.

what said,
Microsoft will either make an amazing app that trumps Spotify, or it will fail miserably and end up buying them out instead.

Or, more likely, they will make a crappy app, but include it with every version of Windows ever sold, most people won't know any better, and some will proclaim it the greatest streaming app ever made, despite the fact they have never used anything else.

I do hope they get a good collection of less popular music... Drum n bass is impossible to find streaming outside of Youtube's crappy quality.

They already do for the Zune. If you want Zune on your Mac, you just either get Paralells or use Boot Camp, buy a copy of Windows and load it up, and download the Zune software. Easy as pie.

Maybe you're thinking of Yahoo. I only remember that MSN Music (in the US) only sold DRM tracks for 99 cents. That's about all I remember.

Microsoft to take on Sirius XM :O

Just kidding.. Would be nice to have, but I could easily get a Sirius XM widget and use it on my PC.

I hope it may turn out to be like the Zune service, bring the zune subscription service to the iPod and ill sign up today...

Apple has Ipods locked down so tight. I still don't understand why so many people like them or like itunes for that matter. I found the software to be extremely slow on my PC. Maybe it is meant for Mac.

Deihmos said,
Apple has Ipods locked down so tight. I still don't understand why so many people like them or like itunes for that matter. I found the software to be extremely slow on my PC. Maybe it is meant for Mac.


How are Zunes any less locked down? And at least Apple makes iTunes for Windows, Microsoft refuses to even release a recent version of Media Player for OS X, and certainly no software for the Zune.

roadwarrior said,
How are Zunes any less locked down? And at least Apple makes iTunes for Windows, Microsoft refuses to even release a recent version of Media Player for OS X, and certainly no software for the Zune.

Apple makes iTunes for Windows because people need it for their iPods, it's because they want money, not because they're so nice. Microsoft doesn't stand to gain as much money by making WMP for OS X.

Memnochxx said,
Apple makes iTunes for Windows because people need it for their iPods, it's because they want money, not because they're so nice. Microsoft doesn't stand to gain as much money by making WMP for OS X.

That may be true but MS did release many software for OSX (office, exchange, etc). WMP is an operating system media player designed for WINDOWS only. Microsoft office is not labeled WINDOWS office, see where I'm going?

As my personal opinion, i have found Itunes one of the worst media player's I have encountered for windows. If i recall properly, it required "quicktime" to be installed, it had this nagging apple update service, and it decides to have its GUI artifacting whenever I played a video game. I never had a chance to play with ITUNES on macs for comparison, but I bet it is way better than Windows' versions. I think its a marketing technique, and Microsoft does it too with a mediocre office (compared to Windows) released for OSX.

Until you are allowed to operate the device fully without additional software, I would say both the ipod and zune are locked down.

Memnochxx said,
Apple makes iTunes for Windows because people need it for their iPods, it's because they want money, not because they're so nice. Microsoft doesn't stand to gain as much money by making WMP for OS X.

Microsoft Office for Mac generates more income then Office for PC. Think about it. I'll explain later if people don't get it.

Think!

omni said,
Microsoft Office for Mac generates more income then Office for PC. Think about it. I'll explain later if people don't get it.

Think!


ummm, cuz the PC users all Bit-Torrent it? Idk.

Memnochxx said,
Apple makes iTunes for Windows because people need it for their iPods, it's because they want money, not because they're so nice. Microsoft doesn't stand to gain as much money by making WMP for OS X.

Well, they might sell a couple more zunes, and lets face it, Microsoft need as many zune sales as they can. They already produce a huge amount of software for Mac.

omni said,
Microsoft Office for Mac generates more income then Office for PC. Think about it. I'll explain later if people don't get it.

Think!


Never heard of that. Where'd you hear that from?

andrewbares said,

ummm, cuz the PC users all Bit-Torrent it? Idk.

Pretty much. The majority of Office for Windows sales revolve around volume licensing. Conversely the majority of Office for Mac sales are full RRP sales off the shelf or via Apple.

Quikboy
Never heard of that. Where'd you hear that from?

I've actually heard it twice now -- once at Microsoft TechEd 2008 from one of the CE and once at an Apple conference last week from an Apple CE (who commented that MS and Apple actually work relatively closely on Office for Mac -- or at least have a good working relationship).