The UK Telegraph reports Microsoft is gearing up to launch a music streaming service similar to Spotify by the end of this month. The service, which Microsoft aims to have ready by the end of July, will offer users the chance 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: “Music is an important area for Microsoft. We are looking at launching a music streaming service imminently.
Spotify plans to share data with music labels It will be a similar principle to Spotify but we are still examining how the business model will work.”
Spotify users can stream music for free in exchange for listening to around a minute of advertising every half hour but for a monthly fee, the ads will be turned off. It is thought Microsoft’s offering 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.
The service is expected to bolster the appeal of Zune, Microsoft’s music player. Bale said the knowledge of the music industry the company had gleaned via Zune and also the player’s technology, had all been incorporated into the service’s development process. Microsoft recently announced it would launch a high definition version of its music player, but it will only be available in the United States.