What's the real reason Microsoft has delayed its streaming music service?

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zuneWell, July came and went and we saw no sign of Microsoft‘s much-anticipated new streaming music service. So I did a little digging around, and over the weekend word reached me through a friend in the music industry that the delay has nothing to do with technical problems, as some have suggested. According to my source, Microsoft “has no label deals”. And a streaming music service isn’t much good without any content.

That’s surprising, if it’s true. It would be strange if Microsoft, having the benefit of observing Apple and Spotify at work over the past year, has been making unrealistic demands on the labels. Strange, too, that the labels wouldn’t realise what a cash cow a deal with Microsoft could be: if Microsoft can match Spotify’s speed and quality it’s difficult to imagine it failing.

Not much is known about Microsoft’s plans for the service, apart from the fact that it’ll be a lot like Spotify and that it’s definitely coming. We do know that it’ll be ad-supported and sit alongside the recently revamped MSN Video.

The service was set to launch at the end of July. Now? Who knows. We’ll get on to Microsoft to see if we can elicit a response.

Update: A representative for Microsoft in the UK declined to comment on this report.

  • http://www.armintalic.com/ Armin Talic

    I haven’t read too much on the topic, but have glanced over various other articles detailing the subject.

    The fact that a ‘theoretical’ launch date has been missed doesn’t doom a platform. I see it as a positive change in Microsoft’s corporate mentallity.

    If it’s not ready, it’s not good enough for our customers. I think they’re learning from the vista fiasco.

    Looking forward to seeing their offering.

  • Fritz

    Microsoft can’t compete with Spotify. They haven’t done any good softwares the last 10 years.

    • Jules Morgan

      Is this a joke ? The Zune software dicks all over Spotify’s.

      Enough with the unconditional circle-jerk please guys.

  • Gill Helfer

    Did you just pull this post out of your arse or is it based on real information?

  • SJ

    Its got nothing to do with microsoft not being able to deliver the technology that spotify are delivering as im sure microsoft can draw upon at least equal talent than what is available at spotify.

    Like the author says it is obvious the labels are the sticking point here, one executive from microsoft said when announcing the plan that they were working out a business model. Spotify despite its praise has not developed a business model advertising just wont cover it.if anyone has a shot at making ad funded streaming work it is microsft and not spotify. Microsoft obviously know that spotifys business model is poor and will not cut it so are trying to maybe negotiate better deals with the labels or tweek the business model further.

  • http://1daylater.com/ David King

    I’m no expert, but if Microsoft is to learn from others successes it would “do a google” and buy up a successful up-and-comer – this seems especially likely given the new MicroHoo partnership and the lack of publicity toward the service. A sign that the brand is already established?

    I dunno, I’m just blathering…

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