Microsoft has announced the launch of its Xbox Music service, which will compete directly with iTunes and Spotify. It will arrive on Microsoft’s own platforms first, and then on Android and iOS devices not long after.
Xbox Music launches on the Xbox tomorrow and will feature two different services in one place: Xbox Music Pass and Xbox Music Store. The Music Pass is a streaming service that replaces Zune Music Pass with both a free, ad-supported tier and a $10 per month plan, like Spotify or Rdio. The free version allows for unlimited streaming to Windows 8 PCs or tablets, and the $10 subscription lets you download songs and use the service on your Xbox or Windows Phone. The Xbox Music Store, on the other hand, is just like any other digital music store, such as iTunes.
Jerry Johnson, General Manager of Xbox Music, couldn’t confirm exactly when it will arrive on Android and iOS but it will be happening sooner rather than later, according to GigaOM.
Microsoft’s last attempt to break into the music sphere wasn’t very successful with its Zune service, where the company allowed Zune downloads to only play on Microsoft devices. Going forward, the company’s Director of Xbox Music Industry Relations said, “It’s about the service, not the device.” So it looks like Microsoft is learning from its mistakes by making its music service available on more than just its own devices, starting with Xbox on Tuesday.