Microsoft is the latest company to join the online music services market after announcing the launch of Xbox Music to accompany the roll out of its Windows 8 platform next month.
The Redmond-based company confirmed the launch of the service that is to provide free-streaming radio, music subscription services as well as music purchasing options.
Xbox Music will contain a library of 30m tracks and will be included in a rolling update to Xbox LIVE that starts tomorrow and will be expanded when Windows 8 launches.
The service will come pre-installed as the default music player for the new Windows 8 operating system, featuring a free, ad-supported service with an Xbox Music Pass costing $9.99 a month in the US.
Users can synch their playlists across devices and the Xbox Music app will even eventually be available on platforms such as Android and iOS as well according to a release confirming the launch.
Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP of Microsoft, interactive entertainment business marketing and strategy, said, “There are a lot of individual services that do a good job, but today there isn’t a service which can pull together the benefits of download-to-own, music subscription, or free streaming services.
“With Xbox Music, what we wanted to do is bring all of that value in one simple, easy-to-use service, then build some additional value on top.”
He said: “We’re going to power what we feel is going to be the best music experience for users of Windows 8, and it’s the only operating system on a tablet that can do free streaming because of the rights we’ve secured.”
Last week online music streaming service Deezer announced its intention to attempt to rival Spotify with a curated content strategy it would roll out following its $130m investment round (nma.co.uk 11 Oct 2012).