Microsoft unveils iTunes rival Xbox Music

Xbox Music: launching to rival iTunes and Spotify
Xbox Music: launching to rival iTunes and Spotify

Microsoft is taking on Apple's iTunes and Amazon's Cloud Player with the launch of a digital music service called Xbox Music, which will be available on the Xbox gaming consoles.

Xbox Music aims to be an "all-in-one" music service, offering music streaming, a radio service and the option to buy tracks. It has a library of 30-million tracks, topping the 26 million offered by iTunes.

The service is ad-funded, meaning users can stream the tracks for free with the option of ad-free listening for a premium subscription of £8.99 per month, in a similar offering to Spotify. Streaming is something which is not currently available on iTunes. They can also purchase tracks from the library. A spokesman for Xbox would not confirm the pricing for this, saying it would be "competitive".

The service rolls out to 22 countries tomorrow, including the UK. Currently it is only available on via the Xbox 360 games console. Xbox Music offers cloud storage, in a similar way to Amazon and Google’s music services, which mean users can listen to their tracks across different devices and also upload existing music collections to it, using "scan and match" technology.

However it plans to expand the service in the coming weeks, making it available on Windows 8 and on its Surface tablet, when the new operating system launches towards the end of this month. It also has plans to expand it to the Windows Phone.

Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, said: "The launch of Xbox Music is a milestone in simplifying digital music on every type of device and on a global scale. We’re breaking down the walls that fracture your music experiences today to ensure that music is better integrated across the screens that you care about most – your tablet, PC, phone and TV."

Xbox attempted to rival iTunes previously with its music service Zune, but it failed to gain traction. Xbox Music will replace the Zune brand.

The move is part of Microsoft’s plans to expand the Xbox brand from gaming to entertainment. As part of this strategy, a year ago Xbox started offering content from partners, including LoveFilm, BBC and Channel 4.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message