Microsoft announced its partnering with Spotify and ending Groove Music. The Groove app for Windows and Xbox will remain for local and OneDrive-stored music.
Microsoft has announced that they are ending their Groove Music streaming service. After December 31, 2017, Groove Music will no longer let you stream, download, or purchase music. Any content that you’ve already purchased and downloaded or uploaded to OneDrive will still work in the Groove Music app.
As a result of this decision, Microsoft has decided to partner with Spotify. This week, Microsoft will update Groove Music to add the ability to transfer your music to Spotify, including your playlists and collections. Microsoft will issue prorated refunds to customers with subscriptions that extend beyond that date.
Streaming music has grown quite a bit in recent years and gained more traction with consumers, but it’s still a tough battle for anyone not named Spotify or Apple. Rdio was a great service that shut down in 2015, it doesn’t seem that Tidal is doing amazingly well, and now Microsoft is killing off Groove. It’s a bummer for fans of Groove Music, but at least Microsoft and Spotify are making it easy for Groove customers to transfer their playlists.
General Manager of Microsoft Groove, Jerry Johnson explained the change in a blog post today:
With the continued advancement of music streaming today, all the world’s music has become easily accessible across a variety of devices, unlocking new ways to discover and experience music. As we continue to listen to what our customers want in their music experience we know that access to the best streaming service, the largest catalogue of music, and a variety of subscriptions is top of the list.
Which is why we’re excited to announce that we’re expanding our partnership with Spotify to bring the world’s largest music streaming service to our Groove Music Pass customers.Beginning this week*, Groove Music Pass customers can easily move all their curated playlists and collections directly into Spotify. Plus, you may be eligible for a 60-day free trial of Spotify Premium.
In notes about the app changes, Microsoft reveals the finer details of the change:
An update to the Groove Music app including the ability to move music to Spotify, will be available for Windows Insiders beginning this week. The Groove Music app update for Windows 10 and Xbox One devices will roll out broadly the week of October 9, 2017 and will enable Groove Music Pass customers to move existing music collections and playlists to Spotify. Groove Music Pass content will be available to move to Spotify until at least January 31, 2018.
Microsoft has also written an FAQ about the change to provide more information.
The reason for the decision to kill off Groove? The competition is too fierce. Spotify has a presence in over 60 countries, offers a popular family pass, and boasts 140 million active users, of which nearly 60 million are paying subscribers. Groove, meanwhile, sees only a fraction of that usage and subscribers and is still far behind in functionality and user satisfaction.