With the upcoming launch of the Zune player and the already active Zune Marketplace, Microsoft has decided to put a lid on MSN Music’s download services. As of November 14, clicking on a “purchase” button will get you redirected to either the Marketplace Web site or, thanks to a 2005 legal settlement, to RealNetworks’ Rhapsody site. If you bought tracks from MSN don’t worry, they’ll still be available for your use.
So what will be available on MSN Music? According to a report on CNET’s News.com:
Microsoft plans to make over the MSN Music site, focusing on hosting live concerts and posting interviews with musicians and other music-related content. Microsoft is also making its MSN Radio service free.
News.com’s also points out the obvious fact that the Zune player-and-Marketplace combo is an open assault on the iPod and iTMS. Can two marketing powerhouses share an entertainment industry without driving each other (and consumers) crazy?
MSN Music presses mute on downloads [cnet news.com]