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196

Microsoft to spin off MixRadio into separate business, keep close ties

Nokia MixRadio

Following the announcement that Microsoft will let go 18,000 employees, it looks as though the MixRadio business will also be another casualty of the streamlining. Speaking to Music Ally, head of MixRadio Jyrki Rosenberg said that the company is planning a spin-off of the music service — which was brought into Microsoft with the Nokia acquisition — into a separate company.

Though the fate of the service was initially unknown, thankfully for Windows Phone fans, Rosenberg was quick to explain that ties between Microsoft and MixRadio will remain tight, and the service will continue to be pre-loaded on Windows Phones going forward. What spinning out into an independent company offers, however, is a clearer path to offering MixRadio on Android and iOS as well.

It also means that the current model of offering unlimited ad-free listening may need to see a change-up as well since Microsoft will no longer be paying the bills, but that strategy is being kept a secret right now. Rosenberg explained that he has talked to plenty of investors who are interested in the proposition of being part of MixRadio's new independent business operation.

Source: Music Ally; Thanks, Buster, for the tip!

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Reader comments

Microsoft to spin off MixRadio into separate business, keep close ties

196 Comments

Yes, that's the Android mentality I had when I was fully using the OS. I changed actually when I moved over to WP and have now purchased several apps. I guess I was not missed at Google since I never gave them business - but I contributed to Microsoft's coffers instead because the OEMs I consistenly used while with Android paid patent fees to Microsoft LOL LOL LOL!

I don't understand why they just don't merge with Xbox music. Both have good features. Make the best of both worlds.

Because they can make a pile of cash by putting it on Android / IOS. What difference does it make if it goes on other O.S.? As long as it's on W8P too. That'll be more money for them to invest and continue making the service better.

Well they can just merge it with Xbox music and then give xbox music to IOS, Android and WP. That's what I would do.

Why? Because you don't read articles. There is an article today saying that a "merge" can't happen as there is just no way.

I like music, but i don't have enough time to download songs, so the Nokia Mix Radio is fits me well. btw the only thing i'm doing is to watch the charts almost every week :)

*Error* MixRadio Unavailable in El Salvador ( Central America ). Spotify is available, free, and is the only reason why I use my android tablet.

In my country, because of the low economy, we don't pay for music, we download it ... "illegally"

Spotify sucks the music selection is super limited in alot of genres. Really good if your a metal fan though. Also they pay artists nothing. Especially Indy artists. Xbox music somehow managed to be one of the highest players to Indy artists and gets a lot of them signing up over other dreaming services

Nothing against Indy artists, but IMO they are way over represented on XBM and Amazon. What I mean by that is 90% of them seem to have all copied the Same. Exact. Style. I expected a lot more variation when I started exploring the Indies. Even so, most of my recent (within last 3-5 years) favs are Indy artists.

All iPhone and Android fans claim they buy phones just for an app, so I don't see the distinction. The argument is silly to begin with, but taken to extremes everytime I hear some one claim they will leave because of no support of some app or another. That said, there are few OEM with stronger support and exclusive apps than Nokia.

My problem with WP in general is mostly hardware, OEM's other than Nokia. The one problem which, if not solved soon, will drive me back to Android is accessing my network shares at home.

Agree, though myself and family also friends have the ongoing subscription with MixRadio free music and the offline talking sat-nav/maps, so far everything Microsoft is done since Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 I've liked except this part!

Apple is gone and spent billions partially for Beats service which is similar to MixRadio and Microsoft is doing the opposite, they need to continue to offer it as it is to loyal Microsoft device users (e.g. Lumia and Surface) or at least add it to XBox subscriptions and offer additional options for users because XBox music is just not user-friendy, time consuming and expensive for general end users.

Anyway you can show your support by getting the word to Microsoft via social media and the following MixRadio UserVoice page which you can vote them to hopefully take notice of: http://nokiamixradio.uservoice.com/forums/229433-general/suggestions/6185150-microsoft-please-don-t-kill-mixradio

Xbox music also actually bothers to pay musicians for their songs. Apple famously screw everyone but the major labels, and Spotify thinks music is free.

LOL, right? People are so quick to say "I'm leaving simply because of this one thing. If Mix Radio is all that person uses, and the app remains a Windows Phone app (which should be free to Windows Phone users as a bonus for being loyal...hint hint Microsoft) then why is it such a deal breaker all of a sudden?

I don't understand. Mixradio will continue to operate, maybe with ads like Pandora, and you're leaving WP for android for that reason? I mean you can totally justify going to Android, but that seems like an odd reason :P

100% with you on that. I've actually moved over to MixRadio for my personal music simply because it works better. My tags are all correct along with album art but Xbox Music fucks it all up by listing artists incorrectly (somehow) as well as not displaying the embedded album art instead replacing it with a low res version, something different entirely or none at all. There's also the added features such as gig dates, offline mixes and Twitter intergration on top of all of the other stuff.

This. They should have done the opposite and just merge the Xbox Music team elsewhere and let MixRadio handle Xbox Music.

I'm very glad. I was only yesterday contemplating getting a premium subscription to it as I really enjoy the mixes it delivers.

".. however, is a clearer path to offering MixRadio on Android and iOS." That does really make sense since MS Office is offered on those platforms with no effort whatsoever! I remember once upon a time when MSN Radio was spun of into what's now known as Pandora! Why can't Microsoft see that MixRadio is a better option to keep under the Xbox Music fold for a Windows Phone bend..?!

Google will make all attempts to swallow MixRadio after the spinoff...Just watch..!

Well, when you spinoff a product into it's own company that opens it for others to snap up as now it becomes independent of it's parent unless they hold a controlling share. Bt as it seems Microsoft wants to divest out of MixRadio completely. If they don't then it will just conflict with Xbox Music.

They wont sell to Google. They will just set it free and then Google will buy it. Meaning that MS wont even get paid for the service.

This is weird....very weird. I talked to microsoft and they told me that the full service still belongs to the original Nokia and that Microsoft owns only the brand of Mix Radio, not the service....

I don't know why they wouldn't implement a service like this into Xbox Music.  It would compliment the Smart DJ stuff really well.

It's probably redundant to what MS has planned and has it's own seperate licensing agreement that is incompatible with XBM. 

A little thing called "licenses." MixRadio has an existing license that is highly unlikely to be transferred to everyone dude without significant negotiation with the record labels. So it's not that easy.

Also they probably won't work well together on the backend. There's a lot more to it than just adding it to Xbox music. If it was feasible I'm sure they'd do it. But they probably looked into it and decided it wasn't worth the resources, currently.

You kind make right to some level, however, anything is possible with a little programing...this is all digital, right?? Either way, the license issues are something that would have been hashed out even before the completion of the sale. So that's a moot point! Microsoft makes a lot of stupid mistakes and then loses out in the end or makes an about turn - Look at the sudden increase of their OneDrive capacity just shy of 2 years since the last change. Another example is the sale of Expedia to get out of the content business but they seem to be back in full swing.

Its going to be a better app for the other platforms, then it will be more adverts then it will be more music like other subscription services. Its basically cost cutting. No longer a main selling point for windows mobile once it moves to other platforms, so y would would u need a windows phone? For ms word?

It was for me...
& the girl I am dating is seriously considering trading in her iPhone as she loves the cameras on the Lumia's...but also loves hassle free great music mixes.
Microsoft are making some silly errors - it has me worried! Xbox Music is sh*t. They should close it and instead develop MixRadio so it can be a complete service. It is so much more intuitive, personal and useful.

If the new MixRadio is not ad free without a subscription then there's no point in having it. The ad free music streaming was what differentiated MixRadio from the countless of other free music streaming apps out there. What they should do is keep MixRadio free for MS devices like Surface, Lumia, & Xbox and release an ad-supported version with paid subscriptions for an ad-free experience on other non-MS devices.

I think that it will an offer (free or lower price) for Windows phone users, cuz the service will be pre-loaded.

I'm not seeing how the company can possibly be profitable going this route. As it is, I don't see how it could possibly make money, no ads, and free streaming..... Are that many people signing up for premium? I doubt it.

I thought MixRadio will be bought by a crappy company and, therefore, destroyed. However I'm happy and looking forward to the future of this awesome app!

Another reason not to get rid of it. I don't use XBOX music, I use mix radio all the time. Only the free version, I would like more offline mixes, would be nice if I got 8 offline mixes for having Xbox gold.

True, those that are gold members get shizit now. Most of the gold exclusive free games are worth negative dollars or so old they look like 8bit games.

Great! A new MixRadio company or whatever that works just like Xbox music!!! Yaaayyyy!!! (says no one)

Why couldn't they just keep MixRadio and rename it???

No more free music mixes....

I believe that is part of cost cutting and putting the workforce to a more focused development. They don't want to maintain it and by getting a third party investor, they can concentrate truly on WP development and have mixradio service offered by a third party. But like many suspect it would not goto google or apple if MS holds shares with that company.

Not that simple, there are people who have a xbm subscription. After they killed off Zune for xbox music, people will be less forgiving if they do the same thing. The transition from zune was not that great.

I'm surprised they can sell it. Last I heard Nokia was putting it into cars. I thought that service still be longed to them. .i wish jolla would make a quad core mobile device. I'd be away

They should make the app cross platform but paid on iOS and android (probably charge less than other services), free on WP. That should generate enough revenue to support WP as well as be an incentive for buying WP.

I've never liked iClone. I have a serious problem with the way the sheep line up around the block to get the new one every year even though its the same thing as last time.

I really can't stand this "made for iphone/ipod" accessory nonsense. Why does iPhone get all the goodies?

Oh good god. These post both annoy and amuse me. Have fun on the bland everyone's got one platforms. There is so much more to WP than MixRadio. While I am waiting for the Music app to get its act together I am still enjoying Radio there and have found a great app that even plays my Pass tunes. As much as I loved them, my 4 Zunes are sitting in a drawer.

What app do you use to play your pass tunes @Mark Richey? I am having the most difficult time with Xbox music but have a gransdfathered Zune pass + credits. Was thinking about cancelling it because Xbox music is so u useable.

Microsoft you are fucking it big time for Windows Phone. Go ahead shoot urself in the foot and while ur at it shoot ur self in the arm too.  

I can use MixRadio, so fuck off. Im tired of wait MixRadio or Spotify for another countries than USA.

 

MixRadio is one of the best apps of Nokia, I really hope MS will not suspend the free streaming ... They should be inspired by mixradio to make Xbox music better ...

Problem is no one is buy the subscriptions probably to the + service which allows alot more & is carrier billing supported unlike xbox music

I stream music with mixradio 4 to 5 hours a day and I'm a paid subscriber if Microsoft takes that away from me and not give me something as good as mixradio they will lose a few clients.

I love #MixRadio, its better than Xbox music.. Microsoft must continue the app or integrate it with Xbox Music..If not I better switch to iOS

At least a bit of better news today, regarding the earlier assumption that it would be totally sold off without any ties whatsoever. Still a bit dumbfounded on the phasing out of Asha/S 40 Series platform, I had thought they made up of a hefty percentage of total phones sold under Nokia, beit a so-called dumb phone or even the Asha's that were classified and sold as smartphones too(correct me if I'm wrong). Also, by keeping Asha/S 40 Series platform, they had the Nokia Brand Name attached to those devices for quite some time, would really like to know they're reasoning in going this route?

Oh how I wish Nokia went with Android. Their innovation over the last couple of years has been stymied by Microsoft's utter ineptness! & now Microsoft are systematically destroying all of the great apps they inherited from Nokia (Creative Studio, MixRadio etc!).
Nokia dragged Windows Phone into being relevant - and for what? So they could be destroyed as a company....meaning we end users now have to put up with Microsoft's sh*try software engineers.
Damn....sooo disappointed. My beloved Nokia ruined so completely by Microsoft

When i think that ms reached rock bottom, they keep digging. Simply amazing! How much worse can Microsoft make WP? The app situation is terrible and they decide to kill an amazing unique service such as mixradio. I just don't get it. If I have to actually use the same apps the other OS already have but in better versions, why would I actually stick with WP when clearly, things are getting worse at a faster rate then it gets better? Ms is supposed to add things not remove features...

Another silly "let's have Android everywhere post." That would be the death of Nokia as no one can compete with the schlock that is passed off as great Android hardware. Japan is a great example of a place where all Japanese OEM make crappy plastic Androids and every carrier has the full line of iPhones. Sheeple.

Mixradio is free which is good. One thing I love about windows phone is no use of data or WiFi. Everything is offline use. Not like others

Is it me or someone swaped the back cover of their Verizon Nokia 929 with a orange one from the 930?

Microsoft could easily provide similar features to Xbox Music where they already have a Radio feature. We only need offline functionality and pre-selected radio stations. And if they finally manage to improve the app, then we don't need MixRadio anymore.

Don't hold your breath on MS fixing Xbox music, they have had almost three years and it's still garbage and barely works.

MixRadio is great. I'm very disappointed in this decision to spin off and the possible ramifications.

The good thing about MixRadio: I do not have to think about what band/song I want listen to. When I was young I was up-to-date with the latest songs from my favorite bands and the charts. Thanks to MixRadio I always have new music in the genre I want to listen to. 

Apple or android is where I will be going if they fuck MixRadio up. I was considering going to buying a 635 day one but now I am going to wait. They have already fucked their people hub and social network integration.

There is if you don't want to load an app when you want to just read other people posts quickly. Why would you want to open an app ever if you didn't have too?

But you actually have to use the Facebook app (designed by Microsoft btw) on Windows Phone now, the one that looks like it was designed for Symbian devices back in 2009.

Ew.

I didn't know MixRadio was that popular. Not to imply anything bad about its quality or about those who use it. I just never saw anything special about it the little I used it. But then, I don't stream or subscribe to music services. So that might be why. I do agree that if it is significantly, at this point, better than Xbox Music, then why not just rebrand the service as is? If that's not in the cards, then its ultimately best to move on.

The nice part is offline mode. I don't have the luxury of hooking to Wi-Fi at work. Listening to music is awesome when you are a working. I only have 2.5 gigs of data. I listen to podcasts but MS decided that the store wasn't good enough for podcasts. Podcasts needed a specific app for listening and downloading, now I have to turn on my podcast app every night to start downloading, before I just had to walk into my house and it would dl automatic via the store. I have an entire list of complaints about 8.1. Sure they gave us more graphic options but they took the features that I loved about the phone.

Google bought Songza, Apple bought Beats and Microsoft is selling MixRadio? Kinda stupid move IMO.

What they need to do is offering a premium MixRadio service to Android and IOS phones. Monetize it from them. Let the MixRadio as is in Windowsphone. I don't mind paying for MixRadio since I'm already a premium subscriber.

Yep just more proof Microsoft is no longer interested in competing in the consumer market. Nothing short of buying Pandora could make them competitive in music now.

No more free mixradio? Brilliant Microsoft, why not get rid of HERE mapping and free offline turn by turn navigation, charge for office mobile and get rid of Carl Z lenses while you are at it so you can cut a clear path to Samsung for me and thousands of others.

So, first Microsoft screws up Zune, then they screw up Xbox music and now they're also screwing Nokia Mix Radio. Fuck you very much Microsoft

I miss Steve Ballmer. If he was still there they would be announcing a purchase of Pandora and integration with Xbox Music instead of MixRadio going to Android and iOS.

I've been a paid Nokia MixRadio+ user for over a year... (back when they called it Nokia Music +) and here's my feelings on this; I am totally fine with MS selling it off... That way they won't have it to screw up! I'm not saying MS screws things up.. But yes, sell it to someone who's going to take care of it. I'd like to see it continue working perfectly as it has done all along!

This just in,MixRadio gets feature updates on android and ios .Nothing for WP just like one note,Skype,office,Xbox music......

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

MixRadio is nice, I also have a + subscription for some time now (better quality, Windows 8 support). I like the features and the sync between all devices (Phone, Tablet, Ultrabook). But honestly, the collection is quite limited. A lot of mixes only have few songs, I am slowly getting tired of all the repetitions. Does the music offer differ from country to country?

You know what would be funny, Google buying MixRadio! If this happens then get lost Microsoft! Am much as I love Microsoft, I hate it! As much as I hate Google, I still hate it, but they have more features! Apple are in between! Cant afford for iPhone, so confused in between these MS and Google! MS are still on removing features, so I'm going for Android!

Don't think any foolish idea . Let keep MixRadio in windowsphone & windows alone .. If you give this to Android or IOS .. Windows will die .

No, not on iOS and Android.. :(
This shud be a Nokia-Specific app.
What the fuck is happening these days. Lumia specific apps are heading to other platforms and people have no reason to choose WP.. :'(

Ms lies all the time. Does anyone else, who does not suffer from short term memory loss, agree? We're not dividing connect: Lie.
We're not giving up on X series: Lie. These promises were made by VP'S and EVP'S. Next, Xbox will be sold. Why? Ms promised they had no interest...at the moment. Once they turn from the interviewer's camera they start making plans because the aforementioned moment had just passed.