Microsoft Is Finally Shuttering Its Groove Music Streaming Service – Forbes
After years of trying to make its Groove Music service happen, Microsoft has finally thrown in the towel and admitted defeat. The company announced yesterday that it was partnering with Spotify to help customers transfer everything they’d saved, downloaded and any playlists they’d created over to the world’s biggest streaming platform as Microsoft ramps up to what appears to be a full-fledged shutdown.
Microsoft spun the news as positive, claiming that it was “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.” That’s a cheery way of saying “we’re going out of business, so start getting used to Spotify now.
The announcement made clear that the Groove Music app would remain functional and would continue to house downloads that had been made through the Windows store, but that support for the service would cease at the end of 2017, so listeners have some time to make the switch. To sweeten the deal, Microsoft also suggested that some fans might be eligible for two free months of Spotify.
The company also offered step-by-step instructions for those who may need help transferring playlists and their downloads. The tricky part here is that while Spotify has one of the largest libraries of streamable songs in the world, there is no proper download store. Users can save music for offline listening as long as they have a premium account, but they can’t take songs off the program and play them elsewhere, and they don’t have access to them offline unless they pay their monthly subscription, which is in stark contrast to any purchased tune. Groove offered both paid downloads and streams, making it almost a direct competitor with Apple Music and iTunes, whereas Spotify hasn’t delved into purchases just yet.
Just over two years ago, the name Groove was announced by Microsoft, which was eager to rebrand its Xbox Music service. The moniker switch was clearly meant to help the platform be taken a bit more seriously as a streaming site, which could only be done by disconnecting it from the popular gaming device. Despite the fact that it had one of the biggest tech companies behind it, Groove Music, and Xbox Music before it, never managed to collect a large customer base, and it wasn’t talked about very much, so the news that it is about to cease to exist doesn’t come as much of a surprise to those who have been watching it…or, not watching it, actually.