Microsoft is gearing up to launch a music streaming service similar to Spotify by the end of this month. This new service will offer users the chance to stream music for free and also download to own. The business model will be very similar to Spotify with minor changes to it.
Currently, Spotify users can stream music for free in exchange for listening to around a minute of advertising every half hour. But for £9.99 a month, the ads will be turned off. The Microsoft’s offering of Music Streaming service will be ad-supported too as well as having a paid-for premium service.
The service would be operated and owned by Microsoft, while being promoted through MSN and other parts of the Microsoft network. Many experts across UK are hoping that music streaming services from Microsoft and Spotify would help restrict and eventually abolish illegal sharing of music files.
Last.FM offers a similar service, with free streaming-based online radio, but if you live outside of the US, UK and Germany, you get a free trial and must pay €3.00 per month to continue listening.
It’s not sure under what banner they will be releasing this music streaming service. Will it be integrated with Zune? or X-box 360? or Bing Music?!! Not sure right now. Initially the service will be restricted to “UK only”.
Will you be subscribing if it becomes available to you?
Update(June 2012): Though we never got to see this music streaming service from Microsoft, the latest rumors point to an expansive Xbox music service with download and online-storage functions similar to Apple’s iTunes. Much like Spotify, Xbox Music seeks to offer streaming for a monthly or annual fee and let consumers buy digital music through an online store.