Microsoft Brings Spotify Rival to UK

We’ve got this fancy new communication system which, I’m told, is going to be the next big thing. It’s called electronic mail and it’s like magic. Seriously, I used to have to visit phone booths when I wanted to be offered “massages” and that dodgy bloke who sits in the corner of the pub with one eye and only four and a half teeth was the only place to find “herbal” medication for the bedroom. I’d never even heard of penny stocks before!

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Anyway, Microsoft, being the technology giants that they are, have clearly fathomed this new method of delivering adverts quite quickly because just this very night I’ve received an electronic letter from them to tell me that they’re going to be offering extended Zune Marketplace services to the UK.

The new services will enable UK users with Zune.net acounts to purchase MP3s from the Zune Marketplace which will then be usable on “their Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 or any other device that supports MP3 format”. That last bit seems like a way of saying “oh, alright, it plays on your bloody iPhone too but please buy a Windows Phone 7, we tried really hard this time”. Of course, the Xbox 360 can also play MP3s if you plug an external hard disk, memory stick or iPod in to it.

That’s not all though. The new services also include Microsoft’s “Zune Pass”, which is a monthly subscription service allowing customers to pay the pawltry sum of £8.99 per month to have access to unlimited downloading and streaming from the Zune music catalogue. This service is explicitly stated within the press release as being usable with the Xbox 360.

We will also see an expansion of the Zune video service from Xbox Live onto Windows-based PCs with downloads sync-able to those Windows Phone 7 devices. So you will be able to download a movie to rent or own and view it on your PC, Xbox 360 or fancy new Windows Phone.

There is no word on a new mobile media device to rival the iPod, instead Microsoft seem to be relying on their Windows Phone 7 platform for mobile access. Shame, those Zune HDs they released in the US were very pretty.

Update: Just to be crystal clear, because there seems to be a little bit of confusion, in the comments, in my email and on other sites which are reporting this. The £8.99 subscription fee is for unlimited streaming and downloads which will, I assume, work for the duration of your subscription. Here’s the direct quote from the press release to clear any doubts (bolding is mine):

Zune Pass, the monthly music subscription service, will also be available for £8.99 providing unlimited download and streaming access to the Zune music catalogue and will be accessible on Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE

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34 Comments

  1. Give me an F!

    Give me an L!

    Give me an O!

    Give me a P!

    What do you get?

    An iTunes rival.

    • *waits for Katy to produce pom poms*

      • I’d pay to see that!

        Anyway. If that subscription allows downloads of un-drm-ed files, so that I could play it on any device I’d check it out (if I was based in the UK). If it’s zune-only spotify with offline playlists sounds like a better deal with more choice of devices for playback.

    • i agree, ms are floppers!

  2. Spotify FTW! =D

  3. I really hope ps3 get spotify soon.

  4. Good to see they are employing the age old tactic of making their subscription eeeever so slightly cheaper than spotify’s. If they have an extensive artist catalogue and can bring this to other phones then I would be tempted. I doubt I would get it, but I would be tempted.

  5. There are some good Spotify rivals appearing now like We7, Grooveshark and now this.
    Competition is always good for the customer so lets see what it brings.

    • My Palm Pre supports Grooveshark, I should really check it out

      • Like most mobile music apps you have to pay a subscription fee to use it.

    • Yeah but it is the cheapest by a long way. The android app is buggy as hell though, dunno about the Palm version

      • Sky Songs is worth checking out
        £6.99 for unlimited streaming and they give you 10 DRM free tracks a month (you can keep these even after you stop subscribing)

        So basically you buy 10 tracks a month and you get the streaming free with that, in a kinda roundabout way… the cheapest by far – however there is no mobile App yet

  6. Just buy the album and make your own mp3s if you like listening to your music at lower quaity.

    • £8.99 gets you a months worth of streamed unlimited music not just one album.

      • £8.99 gets you streaming and unlimited -downloads- which work as long as you stay subscribed. According to the press release.

  7. Spotify rules over all. Although i thought i heard of some other rival being unveiled yesterday apart from this one…

    • Sorry but how exactly can you say Spotify rules and then immediately go on to admit to having not tried at least one rival product?

  8. The banality, repetitiveness and general shitness of R1, Radio 2 & the commercial channels turned me on to Spotify, but sadly for Spotify, it got me back into listening to the radio, thank heavens for 6Music.

    • What’s 6Music?

      • A digital radio station from the BBC

      • 6Music = Radio worth the lisence fee…

      • Yeah… It really makes the multitude of streaming & download services pointless, for me.

      • Digital Radio has all the best stations. 6Music, Planet Rock, Absolute Radio and OMG… Absolute Radio 90’s!

  9. Hm £8.99 for unlimited streaming and downloads isn’t bad, although are they releasing a free ad-supported version on PC only? That seems to be the accepted business model.

  10. this has nothing to do with this thread but it may interest some of you?! Steve Weibe has beaten Billy Mitchells high score again!!

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