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Free Xbox Music streaming on Windows 8.1 and web will be discontinued in December

The free Xbox Music streaming you've been enjoying on Windows 8.1 and on the web will be discontinued on December 1st, 2014. This doesn't impact you if you're using the Xbox Music Pass, but those who have been streaming for free won't be able to do so much longer.

Why is the free streaming feature being discontinued? From Microsoft:

"We are focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers. With Xbox Music Pass, you have access to millions of songs on your PC, tablet, Xbox, phone, and the web. Download music for offline listening and create playlists that automatically sync across all your devices."

We've reached out to Microsoft to find out more about the retirement of free streaming.

Source: Microsoft{.nofollow}

Thanks for the tip Carlos!

226 Comments
  • That's really bad!! :( I loved the free streaming option.
  • This is dumb. Dont they know that services like Spotify only became popular because they had free streaming? Nobody wants to pay, especially for music. (also, they should bundle XB Music pass with LIVE). I don't need to worry about two different paid Xbox subscriptions every year...
  • With the mention of LIVE there, I can never justify spending $100 on a music pass when I only pay $60 for LIVE. I never realized there was a free option though.
  • Nobody wants to pay . . . ugh. That's exactly the attitude that's killing (good) artists.
  • They get money, because I get to see ads.
  • I get one ad every 5 songs on Spotify and it's just an advertisment for another Spotify channel...
  • I pay.  But I also disapprove of this move.  It means fewer users.  The model for nearly every successful web project (Facebook, instagram, whatsapp, everything) has been to lure users via some mechanism and then once the user base is sufficiently large introduce some pay feature (or method to monetize their users' addictions) - enhanced subscriptions, advertising (or ad opt-outs), extra content, something.  This move will move any growth in the opposite direction.  The only defensible position is that the free users exceed paid users and that it is impacting service to paid members.  If that is the case, free can be futher limited by stream quality, etc.  Also, I concur with other posts.  If you're a XBL member, this should come "free."  I am also an XBL subscriber.  A bump in price to cover this would be fine.
  • I pay Ray. The only reason to be concerned would be if MS drop any service to "us" the payers. I couldnt care less if free users toddle off to Spotify as long as when I pay i get the service I want.
    I don't care if MS are #1 or #100 in the streaming media pecking order as long as the service I want is provided for the price I am prepared to pay, which I currently am. Its only a "dumb move" for those who want their current free service. Presume MS have done the maths and seen that the free users were not turning into subscribers so decided to drop them in favour of pay only. Nothing wrong with that, its only a problem for the free users who have market choice.
  • Agreed.  I pay and happy to do so because I like the service.  Yes, there are free services out there, but I don't care about them.  For those who want free I say then move on to the free services.  Like you as long the service isn't reduced I'm good.  But I do wish they would add a family plan for the music service.  To me that would be an upgrade and I don't mind paying for that.
  • "I don't care if MS are #1 or #100 in the streaming media pecking order as long as the service I want is provided for the price I am prepared to pay, which I currently am." Agree. For us paying subscribers, the size of a music service doesn't matter, only quality and quantity. However, the free/ad-supported tiers are good for drwaing in new subscribers, especially if tied to Facebook and other sharing networks. I wish MS will retool their service to make it more amenable to sharing and discovery, like Spotify is.
  • Completely agree with you. I am a paid XBox Music Pass subscriber as well and although I don't have XBL because I do not game (but both kids have 12-month XB1 and XBL subscriptions), I believe that there needs to be a free tier to keep the service relevant. The free tier did not stop me from paying for XB Music Pass but absence of the free tier will make a lot of people move to other services like Pandora/Spotify etc.
  • I mean, at LEAST give Xbox Live subscribers a discount.  I'd probably subscribe if they gave it to me for $5/month as long as my XBL subscription was active.  Right now I'm reluctant to sign up because I'm waiting for some sort of incentive to do so, as I'm already a loyal MS customer but I'm not really getting any extra value as a result of that loyalty.
  • The point is that that's the way it is: people would much rather listen to ad-supported streaming services than pay monthly fees, so if Xbox Music drops this option, everyone will simply migrate over to the half a dozen other competing services that still offer it. It's a dumb move by Microsoft.
  • You know (most) artists make most of their money from tours?
  • I agree, and would rather pay and have no ads.
  • Actually, artists make next to nothing from streaming services, you want to support them, buy direct from them, merch, cds, concert tickets, etc.
  • No... it's killing record labels who profit the most on said artists.  Unless the artists own their own songs or are already on top with great contracts, most musicians/singers care more about concert ticket sales and merchandising.
  • Good?
  • That's the beauty of the free market.  People will only pay what they see as a fair price.
  • 'We' pay them indirectly with the ads.
  • Music is one of the things I will pay for. Got to support my beloved artists that struggle every day. Xbox music is £1 a month cheaper than Spotify which is one reason I went for them.
  • They still have a free streaming on http://www.mixrad.io/us/en for non lumia devices
  • "Nobody wants to pay, especially for music" < Wow. Just. Wow. Cheapskate scum like you are what's hurting the music industry. Go tell one of your favorite musicians that to their face, see how they take it.
  • I dont pay to stream.  I buy my music from Amazon.  By the way I dont pay to walk in a department store or listen to FM radio either.  But somehow they seem to make money...hmmmm
  • Agree, Live/Gold, Xbox Music and MixRadio should be merged and MixRadio still with free streaming and offline ad free as well as the paid version. Is just too messy and expansive for so many different subscriptions by just one company which includes Videos also! They should make the video like Netflix and part of a reasonable subscription along with music, many would go foe that. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
  • Then don't pay for 2 get a playstation that has no music services..
  • Just cash in your bing points for xbox music passes every month. That's what I do. No ads, and it's free. Why waste your time with anything else? Also FYI, you can cash in a few at a time so you don't have to do it every month. I get free XBM and still have points left over for other things.
  • I don't live in the US.. :/
  • +1520, although the 1520 isn't sold in Canada. =/
  • How do people get so many Bing points. I do all searches everyday on both the website and mobile but only get around 750 points a month.
  • I earn less than that! How do you people earn so much?
  • It's 940 Bing Rewards points a month, I don't even think I earn half that a month.
  • 30 PC searches + 10 Mobile searches = 280 Points a week
    There are 4.34821429 weeks in a month. So 280 x 4.34821429 = 1,217.5 bing points a month. And that doesn't include the random 1-2 extra points a day for those suguested searches. It also doesn't include double bing point days. There were 3 days this last weekend that i earned 60 points each day.
  • Man, I feel gipped. I only get 15 on PC. My brother gets 30 and he started after me.
  • I would try contacting microsoft support or something.
  • nooo:( this was my favorite...
  • For now at least we have (Nokia) Mixradio on WP8 devices, hope it stays the same..
  • Easy fix, Music+ App or youtube-mp3 website or the app Music Sense, download all the music you want for free. Stream from SD card, unless you're one of the unlucky ones with a 9xx series or 10xx series phone
  • For those months that xbox music was unbearable on wp I think microsoft should a credit or extend users subscriptions free for the same amount of months (3 or 4 months)!
  • My mom is not going to like this.
  • Not cool, Microsoft! Not cool!
  • Lame sauce.
  • As bad as it has been it should be free or at least discounted. The holiday special made it almost worthwhile. They should make it free to windows phone users at least.
  • Super lame... guess there is no longer a good free way to stream to the xbox one...
  • What? You are totally wrong.
  • Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!
  • Guess Spotify proved too strong. Shame to see a good service go.
  • $99.99 a year, not bad.
  • Yea Spotify is better in every aspect. I wish M$ would just stop with the music/video offerings all together.
  • Do you even download, bro?
  • While I'veenjoyed my limited experience with free Spotify, I don't like that I can't just get music I want to get. That's one reason I pay into Xbox Music. I don't pay for albums anymore (digitally anyway) because I can listen to stuff I might not have otherwise cheaper than buying 12 (maybe) albums that I *will like.
  • How is it better? 1. They don't have a proper W8.1 modern app, meaning not possible to use it with a connected standby enabled device 2. They don't have Xbox app 3. They don't have cloud matching I've stopped my Spotify subscribtion this month and start using XBM Pass and I don't regret for a second. With this news, I just need to decide if I have to wait before I buy 1 year in advance to get the discount OR wait to see if there will be a change in the monthly fee after they stop the free service.
  • Exactly, well said!!! It's about what you want when you want it.
  • So I'll be back on clementine then
  • I like Xbox Music but I've canceled my subscription when they "upgraded" the app on 8.1. On the web the Xbox Music is ok but Deezer web streaming is miles ahead. Hope someday Xbox Music will be at least as good
  • Time to go Spotify...
  • I pay for my music so free is a non issue to me.
  • Personally if I like something I'm willing to pay for it.  Free seldom means "free".  Google has built an elaborate ecosystem based on people liking "free".  But, how "free" are their users?    
  • I couldn't agree more.
  • What does this have to do with google. I've been using the FREE Xbox music since day one, and I haven't paid a dime. So do tell, how was it not free. 
  • He was using an example
  • That's a shame... Xbox Music is actually a very nice service. But a tad overpriced I think.
  • overpriced relative to what?
  • How? You get unlimited streaming, downloads, cloud matching and music videos all in one fee, name one service that offers all of this for cheaper.
  • Piracy lol jk
  • I imagine Microsoft wants to use Nokia mix radio as it's free streaming.
  • As for now mix radio is down and I'm waiting for it
  • That sucks, straight up.  I don't use the service enough to pay for it, but it was really convenient here and there.
  • Hahahah ... paying money for Xbox music. where is the family plan??
  • Well, I might have minded this a while back, but in practice it'll only affect a few artists. I barely use Xbox Music anyways. Now Mixradio on my phone. . . need that stuff. It'll be interesting to see if we ever get a Microsoft Gold subscription that truly includes everything (or an a-la-carte subscription that COULD include everything but is itemized and costs more/less depending on what you get. This could include OneDrive storage, music, Xbox live, and so on). I wonder if Mixradio and Music will ever merge. I sure hope not.
  • I hope they never merge mixradio and xmusic, I'm a paid subscriber to mixradio and I love it, now if they include the xmusic subscription to gold subscription I'll be very happy.
  • Add family music pass!!
  • I need to know that there is someone else here who realizes that music isn't just a commodity.
  • Ask the record labels what they think?
  • Theh should probably announce something good before announcing something bad lol
  • Sad news :( Free streaming was a great option... I willing to pay but paying for Xbox Live and Xbox Music that starts to costs more than i'd like to spend... I wish they'd offer a combined discounted membership...
  • Whatever. The whole service is not available for my country, so I don't use it.
  • Well music rights don't pay for themselves. 
  • The reality is they are dwindling down the users and then will be canceling the service completely.
  • Source?
  • Bah ... I hope with this change, Microsoft will drop subscription price and add familly package !
  • This is stupid, what benefit does this provide?
  • Umm, money to the musicians you are ripping off?
  • Boooo Microsoft, boooo
  • Free streaming is one of the only things that worked for me.  The only two songs I've actually purchased and downloaded will not sync across my other devices due to errors.  Another bad decision by MS.
  • "Paid streaming music"? It's like paying to listen to the radio. Guess I will be returning to Pandora and iTunes for streaming music. I buy artist I like but enjoy listening to music online while at work with limited commercials. Dumb move, imo!
  • The radio has ads, and the radio also doesn't provide you with music tailored to your listening habits.
  • Its NOTHING like paying for the radio you spatula.
  • Correct. You pay to have access and download pretty much whatever you want. Same as Spotify. Man, the mp3 really did spoil the younger generations. I used to spend my allowance every week as a kid to buy a fucking cassette that could get ruined in a instant if it got magnetized....
  • Maybe this will somehow make more music available to those of us who pay.
  • This might work if Xbox Gold members have it includedas part of the membership, but thats a big MIGHT!
  • Xbox Platinum anyone? A couple dollars more a month added to your Gold membership. Get one service pay full price for it, bundle, get discounted rates. Like insurance policies. Multi-product discount. I for one don't have any issues paying for unlimited access to music, not random and with annoying ads. My issue is that unless they are going to solve the issue with not being able to store and stream music NOT in their library, decrease the pricing of XBM. I have a couple albums that I cannot listen to unless I physically move them to said devices taking up storage. The free version of XBM is why I ended up subscribing but I'm thinking about canceling and switching back to paid Google Play Music because of the lack of support for music outside their store offering.
  • I'd have a higher incentive to purchase the music pass if there was a Xbox Live and Music bundle.
  • man, just get Xbox Music completely off my phone.
  • Why does everyone feel so jaded when they have to pay for something? You're not special, or deserving of some mass praise because you have to spend money to benefit from someone else's work (in this case, the musician). You don't deserve everything to be handed to you for free, get over yourself.
  • Do you feel the same way about music on the radio?
  • Radio music is funded by advertisements, which goes to the station and artists, so they still get paid. Its not charity, dude. Nothing is free
  • When was the last time you could turn on the radio and stream and entire album, anytime you wanted. Oh that's right, you can't, never could, and will never be able to. You had to listen to only what the music execs wanted you to listen to, and HOPE your favorite song was played in between the barrage of commercials. Your comparison isn't realistic. Support your favorite artist, buy their music, they work just as hard if not harder for their money. Music isn't like clean water, it's not a "right" and you're not entitled to it.
  • I'm assuming that was directed to the first replier, but I would like to reiterate that I wasn't saying that radio and XBM are the same, not that XBM should be free. You pay a premium for listening to what you want, and that's how it should be.
  • You are dumb. That's worst analogy ever. Its nothing like radio you cheapskate.
  • they probably will discontinue the app altogether and then but Spotify. I can rest assure you.
  • This is a bad idea. A REALLY bad idea.
  • For cheapass music thieves like you, yes
  • You really need to chill
  • I'm chill. *chills*
  • Not good at all!!!
  • It is sad because it puts the service behind Spotify and other services. Still, i think if they continue improved the product it would not be all bad. Also, this makes it more fair for the rest of the world, because a lot of countries did not have the free streaming option. At least i felt cheated for not having this service (Denmark)
  • That's a bad move, I hoped that they would extend the free streaming to WP, but this goes in the opposite direction. I suggest to all of you to show your feelings on Xbox Music Uservoice (there are some ideas already, just vote), not just in this comment section: http://xboxmusic.uservoice.com/forums/209733-xbox-music-suggestion-box
  • Yep. Get on uservoice and tell them how much you think musicians don't deserve money for their work cos its not a real job!
  • Where did I say that? Don't put words in my mouth, please. I just pointed which is the right place for user to give MS feedback on the argument, instead of just complaining here. That site exist for that matter.
  • "that's a bad move, I hoped they would extend the free streaming to WP" did this imply something else? I didn't put words in your mouth, you inserted them willfully.
  • And so? Free streaming for users doesn't imply that artists don't get paid by MS. Moreover, the service wasn't free, was ad supported. Following your reasoning we should pay even for fm radio.
  • Exactly.. Casual users don't mind listening to ads.. Nothing to do with musicians not getting paid..
  • I support Xbox music not with my voice but paying 9.99 a month. That's 2big Macs. God people are cheap!
  • Every one with Xbox gold membership have to access Xbox music
  • WP supports all audio codecs, so as always I will buy from cheapest vendor (eg Amazon). Mix radio is still my preferred App for streaming, although I am sure MSFT will retire this service in time.
  • Considering Microsoft needs to pay for licensing rights, this is a good move. Nothing is free in life. Why would I listen to ads, when I want to listen to music. I am not sure most people realize what Xbox music pass can do versus Spotify, etc. I like the fact I can download any song I want for offline listening, when I want. Don't need to deal with skip limits, etc. I don't have unlimited data and I am constantly traveling, I gladly pay for this service. I have a couple thousand songs downloaded for offline listening...worth the $100 per year fee.
  • When you pay for spotify you can download music for offline listing too.
  • Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
  • Well I hate any and all advertisements myself. That said they should still keep the radio streaming bits with out paying $100.
  • If MS want to provide the ultimate subscription experience then they need to update their apps to offer a better service first, the current apps are rubbish.
  • This really sucks, but they could have at least cut the price in half to $59.94 a year. I mean $99.99 a year seems like a bit much. Especially with competition like Spotify. No free radio, though that's another issue.
  • Spotify is $120 per year...how is it different than Xbox music pass?
  • Agreed. They are the same price, and xbm is $120 a year if you are paying monthly, $100 if you buy a year at once.
    $10 ($9.99)x12=120
  • But my point is they could cut it down to $5 a month to avert the major competition price and increase users.
  • I understand what you are saying. However, I am not sure that would be a good business decision in the long run. Music streaming licenses can't be cheap..i would imagine. If you start low like you are suggesting, they eventually would have to raise prices to keep up with costs... And you know how people (customers) freak out when costs increase. They act like its the end of life as they know it. What is a company to do, to stay competitive and not lose customers? I have tried Spotify premium, and I feel Xbox Music Pass offers so much more.
  • Agreed, because I'm heavily invested in the ecosystem and feel like it wouldn't hurt to offer incentives to other users like myself, like 25% off a music pass with a gold membership, and maybe another 50% off with an Office 365 subscription. The cost would be covered in profit margins by those software and services purchases, which I may remind everyone are cheaper due to the lack of physical product distribution overhead costs
  • Damn, bad move MS...bad move :(
  • So, wait. Their excuse is so they can provide better service to paying customers? I don't really see that.
  • Noooo D: That was my favorite feature ever that I bragged about to Apple users....
  • Stupid!
  • You guys ever considered that the ARTISTS need to get paid and that's where part of your subscription money goes to? All of you who think everything should always be free are forgetting the artists, the people developing and maintaining the service. I guess if it is all going to be free, musicians don't have to eat??
  • Yeah, some people think that an ad from time to time can cover for several songs rights, hardware and network maintenance, personnel and whatever else is required to keep this service running. :)
  • Of course not, most of these people posting are from the selfish, arrogant, and thoughtless "me" generation.
  • Most artists now make their money from concerts and merchandise. With things like Spotify, Youtube, bittorrent, XBM, etc, it is nearly impossible to make money from song downloads nowadays. Yo should educate yourself on how the modern music industry works. It's 2014. Thanks for playing. Excuse while I continue immersing myself in free music. Have you listened to alt-j's new album?? Where's my utorrent...
  • Hahaha. You are so clueless. A lot of my friends are in the music industry. If they heard you say that they would have a LOT to say. I think you need to educate YOURself.
  • And FYI adding "thanks for playing" to things you say doesn't make them right. It does make you look like a jackass though! Well "played".
  • If artists don’t get anything from their songs’ steaming, then explain this: “Spotify’s UK subscription customer base grew by 42% in 2013, helping the company turn a profit in for the first time, suggesting its mixture of ad-funded streaming and monthly subscriptions are paying off at last.” (http://www.digitalstrategyconsulting.com/netimperative/news/2014/10/spotify_makes_a_profit_for_first_time.php) Now all will go free streaming on Spotify and eventually they will start operating on loss again. Then more ads will be added, then you will hear more ads than music… one day you will pay for Spotify subscription just to get rid of those ads.   Removing the free streaming on XBM is not that bad. They just need to reduce the fee so it will appeal to more people. Regarding the torrents, I did it for decades. I’m not proud of that, but I had my financial reasons back then. The truth is that you gather music that you don’t listen. Then you start moving this music between all your devices or put in the cloud to be able to download it from everywhere. Why the hassle? $5-10 is a coffee of pizza depending on your country.
  • Welp......there goes using XBOX music..........cmon, feed me ads, give me radio only, or artist shuffle, I dont care if you play an ad after every other song.......but i damn sure am not going to pay for a music subscription. 
  • they probably will discontinue the xbox music /subscriptions altogether and shortly after they buy Spotify. I can rest assure you. They had a great thing going with Zune but they're completely behind now.
  • I've never used it, but lame! There's always MixRadio to use instead, and it's great. Microsoft better not mess with that!
  • "We are focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers." Gladly pay for that (already do), and if killing free is what they are saying makes it possible, then that's good news!! So far it seems impossible for them to make a good one, much less the ultimate. Hm. We'll see. Maybe give it to those Garage guys, they seem to have some fresh ideas and bandwidth.
  • Not good news for me :(
  • That's moronic. Back to Pandora and Spotify.
  • Hmm. Doesn't smell like good news despite vacuous hyperbole like 'ultimate music purchase and subscription service'. I don't know the numbers but am guessing XB music is pretty niche compared to the other big music streaming services, in terms of customers. Taking away an aggressive selling point like free streaming doesn't communicate ambition. It doesn't bode well for the service's future development. My gut feeling is that they will wind it down to a bare bones and stagnant MP3 store and streaming service over the next few years. I could be wrong, but it feels like they are less and less interested in the consumer/entertainment side of life these days. Not necessarily a bad thing, though.
  • But isn't Microsoft's big idea based upon services and an internet of things music and video play a big part of that philosophy.
  • I have only one question: Will the monthly fee change? It is clear that part of the subscriptions are covering the free usage. I can assume that more users are using the free service and this makes it not profitable. If they stop the free service, it is logical that the monthly free should drop a bit. This way they can easily get some of the free users to subscriber for Music Pass  At least this is what I hope :)  
  • That's what all those ads are for.
  • All those ads? One ad per 5 songs does not pay royalty fees.
  • Well it must because that's the model all of the other services use.
  • None of these services are making money haha Actually though
  • ^ this. If you look up a bit of info on the web, you would see that basically every streaming service breaks even or is losing money if they use a free ad supported model.
  • Ouch! When I upgraded my laptop to windows 8 I discovered the fantastic xbox music and smart dj and love, it likewise when I got my Lumia I love mix radio. I don't subscribe to either but I've bought more music from xbox music and mix radio in the past two years than in the previous ten. Seriously Microsoft please reconsider.
  • Maybe this opens the door for streaming from OneDrive. The new $.99 and $1.99 sales/apps for Windows will invite sales. They just need to go to OneDrive to "stream" that makes most sense to me, also keeping the value of music where it belongs (not free)
  • I don't even know what the Xbox Music team is thinking nowadays...very disappointed! I just wish they would add something to Gold, like $10-15 more per year for music and such. I would happily pay for that! But I feel with no free streaming option, Xbox Music will be used even less and I'm not a big fan of Spotify...
  • I got disinfranchised with the Xbox Music system when I found out they kept billing me after I canceled the service and refused to acknowledge that I had cancelled the service even after I showed them the confirmation reciept from their own system. During that process I also discovered that I had been double billed for seven months. We went round and round... it was idiotic. Their answer? Paraphrased: We'll allow you to cancel your service and reimberse you the one month ten dollar charge as a favor but any further action you'll have to dispute through your bank. Have a nice day.   Gee thanks.   That was about the same level of service I received from Microsoft while trying to get accurate information and pricing for our 1.7 million dollar Enterprise Agreement. It only took 10 months for them to get it right... you'd think someone within MS would take licensing and customer service seriously - I mean we're TRYING to be good, paying customers, but Microsoft makes it so difficult it's maddening.
  • Xbox music pass is fucking garbage. Actually, Xbox music app is fucking garbage. $9.95/person is a bit much unless you're an absolute music whore. No family plans, no grouping XMP with Gold.
  • Makes sense to me.
  • Stupid.. I used that all the time. Well back to downloading free music.
  • Scum
  • The answer he's giving explains nothing about the move to stop the service
  • XBOX Music, Zune have been just some casual efforts by Microsoft.. Looks like, something they just don't care about.. The way things are going with XBOX Music, it feels like they themselves want it to just die down.. I am not against paying for music, but when you are competing against someone like Spotify; you should give all options to your users. Btw, what's up with Free streaming on W8/Web, but not on WP? WP marketshare is struggling and they decide not to give free music streaming on WP. Like I said, with XBOX Music all the decisions are exactly opposite of "what should have done".. Really sad move..
  • I agree.  I pay for the Xbox Music Pass, but I dare say most people don't pay for services like this.  For MS to take away a free option... I'd love to know their plans for Xbox Music.  The Windows Phone app is still much slower and buggier than it ought to be for a first-party app, and the service isn't advertised in the slightest.  When they rebraded Zune to Xbox Music, I was excited to think that they were going all-in on this stuff... but the current state of things really makes me wonder why MS even bothers.
  • My God, I can't believe how cheap some people are. It is $10 a month for unlimited music, holy cow... I rank that with all the people that bitch when an app costs a couple of bucks, like windows central app for instance. Really? Everything has to be free? Xbox live I use to bitch about because I don't play online games but had to pay it just so I could use another service I was already paying for, like Netflix. But paying $10 a month to have thousands of songs available on all my devices? Come on now...
  • I'm not sure it's about the money, but about parity. Google Play Music lets you stream for free. Apple (with iTunes Match) let's you do it for $25 a year. MSFT now charges $120 a year.   Actually, I guess it *is* about the money....
  • I think it has to do with society's way of thinking nowadays. A lot of the today's society feels its okay to steals someone's music or movie by downloading it via free methods. Call it like it is.. stealing. You want it, pay for it.
  • What free streaming music ?
  • If you live in a country that currently offers the free music streaming, and assuming you are using a Windows 8 or 8.1 PC, then simply fire up the XBox Music Modern UI app and wait for it to log into your Microsoft Account, and away you go Alternatively, if you are usiing a non Windows 8 or 8.1 computer, use a compatible browser and point it at https://music.xbox.com and log in with your Microsoft Account and start playing music throough the browser.
  • I can only imagine the complaints in this thread, but I've been paying for a pass for 3+ years. If this means more stuff will be cleared for play, im a happy camper. I noticed a bunch of labels pull their music since the free streaming started. Hope this puts some money back into these indie labels pockets.
  • Thanks Satya! You're sure winning fans.
  • Maybe they will be introduce OneDrive Music locker and don't seem to see a free music service fitting anymore.
  • If the app actually was worth a damn, I'd consider buying.
  • Hey, by all means, if you can make the service better for us paying customers, go for it. I pay One Fitty a year, so this doesn't affect me one bit. Actually, I rarely use the app on W8 anyways.
  • Clueless...these people are just clueless.  Every single time I try and get on the Microsoft bandwagon they pull this kind of crap!  Screw it...I'm done.
  • If you are not willing to pay for their products or services, then you should go elsewhere.
  • Too bad :(
  • Another reason to go Spotify all the way.
  • That's why I have tons of music on my SD card, can listen to metroradio and use Nokia mix radio for now.
  • What you wanna say, i don't get the point. I pay for xbox music and i can download all the music from xbox music on my sd card too...
  • The point is i don't care they are losing the free streaming. I guess to add to it I can't see paying for a subscription service to listen to music.
  • The amount of music I can download and listen to for$10/month...i couldn't afford to buy all that music. And I don't want to listen to ads, either.
  • I don't listen to ads on metro radio so....
  • Huh??? That was such a "non-statement" statement...I've been a paying customer for 3 years and hope they promote their service more...I never see XBox Music advertisements ever...this is one if the first music streaming service but most people never heard of it...I'm thinking MSFT will spin this service out...
  • Xbox Music subscriber (grandfathered Zune Pass with 10 freebies a month) and Beats subscriber (family plan FTW). I pay for music. Always will. That said, I have streamed off of Spotify at times from website links and whatnot, and the audio quality is AWFUL. Way worse than any other service I've used. I couldn't listen to that for more than 10 minutes without going crazy. You can keep your ad-supported nonsense. Artists get paid much more by paid subscribers. If the music is worth listening to, it's worth paying for.
  • Well said. For music lovers, its a great deal and we don't mind paying for it. Even in the heyday of Napster before Metallica and their lawsuit, I bought 90% of what i downloaded from there as it was a fast way for me to find new music I had never heard of.
  • Awwww
  • I don't know, $120 a year is way less than I used to spend on cds a month when I regularly bought them. Im saving shitloads of money.
  • +1
  • I agree with you... Apparently we are in the minority
  • Its sad really...
  • Every time I read something like this, it gets harder and harder to feel bad about trading in my Lumia 925 for a G3. MSFT, don't you *want* us to like you?
  • I love Microsoft and I'm glad to pay $99 a year for the service. If you want free go elsewhere!
  • Careful, your apologist is showing. ( : I'm all for brand loyalty, but XBM should have been a) half the price, or b) rolled into XBG since day one. When you charge more than triple what your competitor does for essentially the same product, you'd better either have some really whiz-bang added features or a captive audience.
  • "When you charge more than triple than what your competitor..." Who charges $33 dollars a year to give you all you can eat plus ad free music video streaming on Xbox one? Do tell as I'll be the first one on the bandwagon.
  • No I don't have a PC with 8.1 , got confused then thought they where talking about the 8.1 phone. Sorry .
  • The reality is Microsoft was counting on people to switch to paid subscriptions. It obviously didn't pan out, therefore they cancelled the freebie. That's my dos centavos on it.
  • Xbox Music is trash anyway. I tried it a couple of times, but it doesn't know much beyond popular music, in my experience. Genre labeling is troubled, and it is why I deleted the Windows app from my PC, in favor of MusicBee (Zune no longer works on 8.1). Microsoft has consistently gone backwards with music since they retired the Zune software, so I can't say this surprises me.
  • I love MS non answers
  • i secretly believe that theres someone in higher management at microsoft who is trying to ruin the company. you see spotify is well known to consumers outside of Itunes. not many people know that xbox music even exist. i feel like there are only like 5 engineers that works on xbox music team. i have an iphone with the xbox music app and that app DOESN'T EVEN WORK unless wifi is on. Xbox music isn't anything special to me anymore. i've an subscriber for xbox music since it came out and my yearly pass ends in feburary. i think this is the last straw for me.  i think i will try beats music or Spotify.
  • Spotify is great, but I'm too lazy to move my music from xbox music to spotify. That, and I just don't know how to do it easily. And to your first point, I agree. The Xbox One Always-On fiasco is another example...  
  • Personally, I'm a subscriber to Xbox Music. Previously, I was a Spotify subscriber, but switched to Xbox Music for a few reasons. I wanted better offline support, complete album downloads the day of release, use of my catalog on multiple devices, cloud syncing from my desktop or SP3 to my Lumia phones. Now of course, being head first into Microsoft land I saw the benefits of using their service. Others may not feel that way. However, this move from Microsoft I don't feel it bad. Could I change my mind in the future? Yes. Right now, if this means more focus on the paid subscribers than I am all game. Free streaming is awesome, but as everyone is pointing out, by saying... "Well, Spotify it is then..." or ..."...Other streaming services will flourish now!" Then maybe, just maybe Microsoft saw this exact behavior and has decided to offer their paying consumers an even more premium service. What would that entail, if anything? Only time will tell. Also, having Nokia MixRadio on all their phones and a Windows App, I feel its high time they push that as the "Microsoft" free music streaming platform. One thing I agree with is bundling their music subscription into Xbox Live. Now, I'm not a person who screams for everything to be free or dirt cheap. I definitely am willing to pay for quality and think more should, so we can have quality services. If it was to be bundled, then and increase with that service from say, $59.99 (for just Xbox Live) to $79.99 or even $89.99, is more than acceptable and would be a screaming deal. Even if they said $99.99 total, then I'm still good. Either way, lets hope Microsoft further pushes Xbox Music to be an exceptional service.
  • My thoughts exactly!
  • Microsoft, WHY? Are you trying to make your service worse and even less able to compete with Spotify and others? Really? -_-
  • XBL silver, Gold and platinum. Plat includes the music sub.!
  • Time to go to Pandora or Spotify!!   
  • Effing brilliant. That clicking noise you hear Microsoft is drone abandoning an already mediocre service.
  • Xbox music Just keep getting worse. The phone app still sucks as hell, I can't spend a day without having an issue on it
  • M$ is so money minded -nobody wants to pay money as long as you hv access to the free music!!!
    Although i dont stream music unless i m connected to wifi
  • When I buy a Album. Can I stream it without a music pass?
  • Yes, it is yours after all :)
  • Can I realy stream it via Browser? Or just download via App...
  • That's bad news.. How bout windows 8??
  • I've the Pass and find it normal to pay something. I hope what I pay goes to the artists too, and the less possible to the majors... (am I naive?) My only problem so far with Xbox Music Pass is that often albums must be bought anyways, even for the Pass owners: this is unnacceptable; I won't pay twice...
  • It's a shame but understandable. The number of ad's they show is very very low making it a great service, but not one that I imagine generates much revenue for them.
  • Everybody bitching about not being able to get something free? The service is great for me. Totally happy. Maybe the consideration of making it part of a LIVE subscription would be cool.
  • So is it business as usual for those of us that pay for the Music Pass?  Will I still be able to do web play and on Win8.1?  I stream my collection every day at work, I'd hate to lose it.
  • All good things must come to an end, I guess. It's a shame, I suppose, but I pay for the Xbox Music Pass. I hope there's a continued focus on improving the catalog, now that they're cutting off the free-loaders, erm...I mean, the value-conscious users.
  • Terrible idea.  If they want to make the experience better make it free for everyone with ad support, and get feedback from a broader audience as to what needs improvements.  This is one of the biggest flaws with Xbox Music, you can't try it at on mobile devices for free.  How many people are blindly willing to fork over $10-100?  Yes I know there's a free trial but it's one time only, you don't like the service the first time you try it too bad you need to pay if you want to use the same microsoft account for another trial.   
  • Massive shame, I use my 10 hours of free listening regularly on my PC and it was a great and easy way to listening to the music I wanted, without having to go through the hassle of downloading it first. I don't listen to enough music to warrant spending money on a subscription, so it looks like Xbox Music on my PC will soon become pretty much useless for me. Big disappointment to see this go.
  • Poor decision when many other services now offer free radio...
  • This makes them no better then apple. They miss out on the revenue from advertising, I am in the music industry and I make good money off of advertising.
  • Fix your app first, then I'll think about paying.
  • Why not keep the service, rename Xbox Music by bringing back the Zune name. MS needs to figure out what they want to do with their entertainment properties, and hire a good marketing firm to put forth a hip, intelligent image (hey, it worked wonders for Hyundai!). Another side note, they could have services with W(indows), X(box), Y(eahIDunno), Z(une), have to find a Y service, but you get the idea.
  • What? Cant they keep it free with ads? Cant they? :(
  • Maybe it is because they now have MixRadio people can stream for free.  Did that come with the Nokia Mobile purchase?  Doesn't make sense to have two streaming services for free.  Although it would have been better if they had merged them and kept the free streaming without disrupting a group of consumers.  Now the Live streamers will be angered and may not switch to MixRadio.  They should migrate their Xbox Music consumers over to MixRadio or vice versa and just make it one service.  That way it would minimize constumer disrutption and maximize the amount of consumers you keep.
  • I find it rather ridiculous that this was swept under the rug casually. I built a new computer last week, with windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 costs 119$ and now Microsoft expects me to pay for some features that were previously offered free of charge. I thought that 119$ was for what Windows 8.1 features made Windows 8.1 famous. The accessibility. However, now they expect users to pay 10$ for a streaming service. There are many better out there for far cheaper. I imagine Microsoft did this in hopes that mothers will buy their children the "1 year XBM Pass ~ 99$" for X-Mas, however they are just being cunts.