The online music market is about to get more competitive. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is announcing today that it’s entering the streaming music business.
The new service, called Xbox Music, will offer ad-supported free music streaming similar to Pandora (NYSE:P) and Spotify, according to The Wall Street Journal. A fee-based version will give subscribers an ad-free service that allows for downloading as well as streaming. Xbox Music will allow Microsoft to present a clear difference between its service and Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes, which doesn’t have a streaming option.
Here are some facts about Xbox Music:
- Available only for PCs and tablets running Windows 8 and Windows RT
- Available today for Xbox 360 users, this month for Windows 8 users
- Also available on handsets using Windows Phone 8
- There’s a free ad-supported version
- A pay option allowing downloads will be available for $9.99/month
- Could be available for Apple and Android systems withing a year
- More than 30 million tracks are available, 18 million in the U.S.