MSN Music to integrate with Zune in the UK

Microsoft today has announced that its current music exploration and purchase service in the UK, MSN Music, will integrate with the Zune music ecosystem when it's rolled out to the UK next month.

 “MSN Music will create links in its music editorial to related content on Zune.net, giving users quick and easy access to the music they care about in the Zune Marketplace” Microsoft says. The company points out that there is “natural synergy” between the two services and it makes sense to integrate the two.

MSN Music is Microsoft’s portal for the most recent news from the music industry with exclusive content and interviews and many videos and downloads. It is also possible to purchase music via the entertainment portal and Microsoft has said that “existing customers of the MSN Music download store will be invited to discover the new service”.

Steven Wilson-Beales of MSN Music has said of the announced integration “people will now be able to consume a range of music news, videos, spotlights on new music and artist information and have at their fingertips, the ability to purchase and listen to the music they want, wherever they want. The integration between MSN and Zune Pass will allow subscribers to log in from any supported web browser for unlimited access to a catalogue of 7 million songs in the Zune Marketplace.”

It appears that Microsoft is keen to keep MSN Music as the place for people in the UK to go to find out the latest news and reviews about music but to have Zune there for people to buy or stream the music they are reading about with links on both sites to the other related information or songs.

There is no date as to when this integration will start but it is thought to accompany the arrival of Zune in the UK.

MSN UK is the UK’s largest news and entertainment portal with 25 million unique users each month, that’s 58% of the UK’s internet audience. Microsoft will be hoping to use this large readership to advertise and popularize Zune when the service rolls out.

Zune is Microsoft’s entertainment platform and ecosystem. When it comes to the UK people will be able to buy and download music and videos. It will also be possible to pay a monthly subscription of £8.99 to access to over 7 million songs and have then instantly stream from the internet on the Zune PC software, the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 devices, the Xbox 360 or through any internet browser.

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