There are indications that Microsoft is preparing to launch a new music service/application that will be similar to what Spotify, Pandora, MOG or Rdio offers. Microsoft is reportedly talking with different record labels about developing the said app/service.
Experts say that Microsoft’s plan is to release the service as part of the applications or services associated with the Xbox 360. It does not intend to use its Zune brand name because it did not gain traction with consumers. The service will also be made available to smartphones that use Windows Phone 7 and laptops and desktops that run the Windows operating system. Apart from these details, all other aspects of the service like the exact delivery methods for the music content to consumers, how the record labels will be paid, and any subscriptions fees are still up in the air.
Right now, Microsoft already has a music service in place, the Zune Music Pass. It’s actually a similar service where members pay $9.99 a month to gain access to millions of songs on their Xbox 360, Windows Phone and PC. There are some who are thinking that Microsoft may just be out to renegotiate the terms for the Zune Music Pass so that the company will be able to provide a free version to consumers. Right now, a user needs to have an Xbox Gold membership to get the privilege to subscribe to Zune Music Pass, which is tantamount to paying two entrance fees. Simplifying the whole process could be what Microsoft is actually aiming for all along.