Microsoft has announced that it is to end its free Xbox Music service from December 1.
Just to be clear, the company will continue to provide the Xbox Music service itself, but only in its paid form. It's the ad-funded version that is currently accessible through PC web browsers that is being "retired".
The company doesn't really explain why it is discontinuing the free music streaming offer, other than to say that "We are focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers."
With the paid Xbox Music Pass, which costs £8.99 per month, you get features such as offline listening, playlist syncing across all of your devices, and access to around 90,000 music videos.
Naturally, you also get uninhibited access to Xbox Music's impressive library of 38 million tracks, which none of the other big music services is able to boast.
Microsoft points out that any music purchased through the free Xbox Music service will remain accessible on your computer. Any playlists you created will remain visible, but you won't be able to listen to them until you start subscribing to an Xbox Music Pass account.
By pulling this free option Microsoft is arguably making Xbox Music even less competitive with Spotify and Deezer, both of which offer a free listening option.
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Via: The Verge