Microsoft officials have decided to discontinue the Microsoft Groove Music Pass subscription service and migrate existing customers of it to Spotify.
Groove Music Pass — the Microsoft streaming music service formerly known as Zune Music, and later, Xbox Music before being rebranded to “Groove Music” in 2015 — is one of Microsoft’s few purely consumer-focused cloud services.
Microsoft will continue to run Groove Music Pass until the end of calendar 2017. After that point, those users with any remaining months of paid subscription to the service will be reimbursed. Starting this week, Microsoft will be encouraging those using Groove Music to migrate their playlists and music to Spotify.
Microsoft will continue to update the Groove Music application on all Windows devices, however, allowing those who have music stored in OneDrive to continue to play and manage their music through that app. But after Dec. 31, 2017, the Groove Music app will no longer allow users to stream, purchase or download music.
Microsoft is testing this migration experience with Windows Insiders who are Groove Music Pass subscribers first, starting this week. Next week, Microsoft will begin enabling non-Insiders who are Groove Music subscribers to start moving their music collections and playlists to Spotify, as well.
Groove Music Pass content will be available to be moved to Spotify until “at least” Jan. 31, 2018, Microsoft officials said in a blog post on Oct. 2 announcing the plan. More information about the Groove Music service discontinuation/migration is available in these FAQs.
Microsoft still continues to operate a small number of first-party, consumer-focused cloud services, including Xbox Live. Microsoft seems all-in on Xbox Live and is looking to it as a way to help monetize Windows.