Microsoft bows out of streaming market to make way for Spotify

Microsoft Groove killed off to make way for Spotify

Microsoft is retiring its music streaming service, Groove, and handing over all its users to Spotify.

The move marks of the end of Microsoft’s attempts to cash in on the music business.

Microsoft Groove, formerly Xbox Music, was launched four years ago as Bill Gates’ attempt to crack the music streaming market.

Unfortunately, the service never really took off and most people probably never even realised it existed, despite being available in a range of formats, including an Android app.

Microsoft has announced it will no longer sell Groove Music passes and will offer refunds to customers with unused passes after the service finally closes on 31 December 2017.

Spotify, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength, cannibalising other music services and dominating the market since its launch in 2008.

The new partnership will mean Groove users will instead become Spotify users, so you won’t miss out on your favourite tunes or the latest releases.

According to a blog on the Microsoft website, “customers can easily move all their curated playlists and collections directly into Spotify.”

Microsoft says users will still have access to songs they own, and the app will continue to support playback, but will no longer be updated.

Buying, streaming or downloading music will no longer be possible, however.

The news comes as little surprise, as Microsoft and Spotify have previously collaborated on apps for Windows 10 and Xbox One.

Despite giving up Groove, Microsoft hasn’t thrown in the towel just yet, and will continue to update the Windows 10 Music app to allow users continued access to saved music.

With Groove now a goner, only Spotify and Apple Music remain as the big beasts of music streaming.

MAIN IMAGE (composite): Nickolai Kashirin/Flickr


Aran is a technology journalist with an interest in consumer issues.
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