In 2015, Microsoft rebranded its Xbox Music service to Groove. At that time, Microsoft described Groove as “what people feel and do with music.” It added that Groove would be the same as Xbox Music and it would be updated it regularly. Groove Music launched along with Windows 10.
But two years after, Microsoft admitted defeat. Although it tried competing with Spotify, it didn’t take off. Today, it announced that it’s going to discontinue Groove Music streaming service. It also won’t allow anyone to purchase songs/albums in the Windows Store.
“With the continued advancement of music streaming today, all the world’s music has become easily accessible across a variety of devices, unlocking new ways to discover and experience music. As we continue to listen to what our customers want in their music experience we know that access to the best streaming service, the largest catalog of music, and a variety of subscriptions is top of the list. Which is why we’re excited to announce that we’re expanding our partnership with Spotify to bring the world’s largest music streaming service to our Groove Music Pass customers. Beginning this week*, Groove Music Pass customers can easily move all their curated playlists and collections directly into Spotify. Plus, you may be eligible for a 60-day free trial of Spotify Premium.” – Microsoft
This move of Microsoft doesn’t come as a surprise. Spotify and Apple Music own the industry for streaming and purchasing music over the Internet. However, it’s surprising that it partnered with Spotify in moving its Groove Music Pass customers.
Groove Music customers will have up to December 31 to use the service. After that, the app will no longer allow streaming, purchasing and downloading of music.
Moving items to Spotify is easy. Groove users’ playlists and songs will be transferred to the new service.
It’s not a great loss for Groove Music Pass customers. The reason for this is that Spotify offers a set of Groove music catalog. Furthermore, Windows Phone users can easily access Spotify because the app is available on the said smartphone. Thus, a few users using this failed mobile platform won’t be missed out.
Microsoft stated that the Groove Music wouldn’t go away. You can still use it for playback and managing songs stored locally.
The company isn’t likely to admit defeat. It failed to obtain market share in this industry. However, moving it to Spotify is already an admission that it did fail in this area.
The Pass subscription service didn’t offer a feature that can stand out. Although it was a competent music streaming service, no feature could help set it apart from iTunes, Spotify, and other similar services.
On the other hand, Windows Store offers video content, books, and games. But it also faces competitors, Netflix and Amazon. However, Microsoft might not consider similar partnerships.
“Our partners are at the center of delivering great experiences on Windows and enabling them to shine on our platform is a top priority. By collaborating closely with industry leaders like Spotify, we can deliver the music customers want and focus on new and innovative ways to experience music.”