UK Telegraph. A Microsoft exec told Barnett that the service would likely resemble Spotify, a popular European music startup that combines ad-supported free streaming music with a premium ad-free subscription option and the ability to purchase songs by download. A long list of glowing reviews for Spotify was well rounded-up by Jennifer Guevin at CNet early this year. We suspect there is some chance the service could be built on top of the technology of another music startup, Seeqpod.Microsoft is planning on launching its own streaming music service by the end of July, Emma Barnett reported today in the
Can Microsoft find the right balance of monetizing music without being over-bearing, enabling multi-platform use without being confusing and satisfying millions of mainstream users without being boring? Those seem to be the looming questions.
Peter Bale, executive producer of MSN, told the Telegraph that the new music service could tie in to the company's XBox gaming and entertainment system and would leverage knowledge acquired through the Zune experience.
Could Seeqpod Be Under The Hood?
It's possible that the new project is being rolled out quickly because it's built on acquired technology. This Spring there was widespread speculation that Microsoft had acquired failed but awesome MP3 search engine Seeqpod. Seeqpod did a great job searching for media around the web and offered an API that developers liked quite a lot - but the company got slammed by repeated lawsuits. Seeqpod argued that it was only indexing media files that other people were posting, not posting them themselves. That kind of argument tends to hold up best when you are big enough for music companies to look the other way. Surely Microsoft wouldn't be so bold, would it?
Bale says the new Microsoft music service will compete based on scale and quality of product. If it can simply deliver more variety than Pandora or Last.fm do, that alone will make it a viable competitor for many users.