Since early this year, we’ve been hearing about Microsoft’s plans to ditch Zune in favor of a rebranded music service, revealed at this year’s E3 as Xbox Music. While that gave us a name, the company didn’t confirm much in the way of details as to how the service will operate. A new report from Bloomberg attempts to uncover just how Xbox Music will work, and it all sounds very much like an amalgamation of existing music services.
Rumors from earlier this year, when the new service was going by codename Woodstock, similarly looked to something that was a combination of a Spotify-like streaming service alongside direct track sales. These new rumors expand on that, also suggesting a music locker component.
Ultimately, Xbox Music could offer streaming subscriptions, either with monthly or annual access fees. The proposed storage locker system sounds very much like what Amazon, Google, and Apple are already doing, and like the streaming service, Microsoft would reportedly charge for access; it’s not yet clear if there would be a bottom-tier free version with limited storage.
Supposedly, Microsoft is still in negotiations with labels to get the licenses it will need to go forward with its plans. If it doesn’t work out all the deals it needs in time, not all these components of Xbox Music may be simultaneously available when the service first launches.