MSN Music Not Competing With Spotify/Google

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Microsoft’s Pter Bale, executive producer for its new audio service, MSN Music, has expressed the view that the service won’t be competing directly with Google’s Music Onebox or Spotify.

MSN Music

According an interview with TechRadar, Bale is of the opinion that the MSN music model won’t be overlapping too much with Google and Spotify’s streaming music. He took the time in an interview to highlight the differences between Microsoft’s offering and the existing services, saying that MSN Music is,

“… a downloadable service within MSN Music with an invitation-only streaming service for several thousand people.” He continued to say that, “We’ve had partnerships with OD2 and then Nokia – but following changes to Nokia’s music strategy we needed a new partner.”

It’s interesting to learn from there that MSN Music is, in a kind of roundabout way, an extension of its “Zune services” which seem to be a way of capitalising on the somewhat positive impression the Zune has left people with without selling them the hardware.

In Bale’s own words again, “We’ve gone with an in-houe Zune back end from Microsoft but you shouldn’t read into it that this is a big strategic push tactical move for the company as a whole.”

It’s strange that he’d take the time to make sure he got that out, but it could well just be an attempt to separate the MSN Music (which is very likely a brand that Microsoft is hoping will develop and take off in its own right) from the Zune brand, which would certainly bring a certain combination of an installed user base and some derision. Moreover, the Zune is practically unheard of in Europe, while the MSN brand has quite high penetration here.

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