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Microsoft Discontinues Groove Music, Partners With Spotify Instead

Microsoft is the latest company to exit the streaming music business: The software giant announce Monday that it was shuttering its Groove Music service at the end of this year. Existing Groove Music subscribers are being encouraged to transfer their playlists and libraries to Spotify.

“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,” wrote Microsoft Groove GM Jerry Johnson in a blog post Monday.

The company will stop serving subscription customers and selling music downloads at the end of December, but maintain the app as a way to play local music libraries. Existing Groove Music subscriptions won’t automatically transition to Spotify subscriptions, but the two companies are trying to sweeten the deal for Groove Music users by giving them 60 days to try Spotify’s premium service for free.

Microsoft first launched its Xbox Music subscription service in 2012, and was initially focusing heavily on Xbox users as its target audience. In 2015, the company rebranded the service as Groove Music, hoping to broaden the service’s audience and also reach users on mobile platforms. However, Groove Music never really caught up to Spotify or Apple Music, and ultimately competed among a list of second-tier services.

Microsoft isn’t the first major tech company to try, and then give up on competing with Spotify. Samsung tried a number of different service models before ultimately settling on a partnership model with existing services. And Sony replaced its own music service with Spotify in early 2015.

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