While Microsoft stopped making Zune devices back in 2011, the brand name limped along for a few years as a streaming service which in turn was folded into the company’s “Groove Music” in 2015. Now it sounds like Microsoft is giving up on offering its own music platforms, announcing that it’s killing off Groove Music Pass in favor of expanding a Spotify partnership.
Microsoft says it will be ending support for Groove Music Pass and music purchase in the Windows Store will be discontinued, although users will still be able to play songs they already own using the Groove Music app.
Subscribers who have a Pass subscription that goes beyond Dec. 31, 2017 will receive a prorated refund or a Microsoft gift card.
“We’ll continue to update the Groove Music app so you can play and manage the music you’ve purchased and downloaded to your PC or uploaded to OneDrive or another cloud storage service,” Microsoft says. “But the app will no longer stream or play Groove Music Pass content after December 31, 2017.”
To that end, Groove Music Pass customers will be able to move their playlists and collections over to Spotify, and may be eligible for a 60-day free trial of Spotify Premium: If you’ve already subscribed to Spotify Premium or Unlimited or you’ve accepted a trial offer before, you won’t be eligible for this one.
According to Microsoft, an update to the Groove Music app — including the ability to move music to Spotify — will be available for Windows Insiders beginning this week. The app update for Windows 10 and Xbox one device will roll out broadly Oct. 9. Groove Music Pass content will be available to move to Spotify until at least Jan. 31, 2018.