On Monday, Microsoft announced its own streaming music service, in a bid to expand its catalogue of entertainment content. Xbox Music is designed for Microsoft’s Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox 360 systems.
Xbox Music will let some Microsoft customers stream tunes for free, and search for particular artists, songs and albums for on-demand play. There will be a $9.99 subscription fee for Xbox and Windows Phone 8 users.
Through the service, consumers can create playlists, stream and download songs or create music stations based on assured artists, a service similar to Pandora and Spotify. Xbox will also offer music videos.
The service is only available on Windows 8 or RT tablets and PCs, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 360. That means no support for anything remote Microsoft’s ecosystem at launch, or even for Windows 7 devices.
The company claims that the service has so many songs that users will be able to listen for over 80 years and never hear the same song twice.
Microsoft has lots on the line this holiday season and will have to work to make its products show up from the pack. Adding competitive features such as Xbox Music may be one way to reinforce its case to consumers.