Is Peter Bale’s music streaming service actually Zune?
Back in July some quotes from MSN UK Executive Producer Peter Bale alluded to Microsoft providing a music streaming service. He said:
"Music is an important area for Microsoft. We are looking at launching a music streaming service imminently.
"It will be a similar principle to Spotify but we are still examining how the business model will work."
As is typical for hit-hungry online news sites various things were inferred from this that on first reading might be attributed to Mr Bale but which actually aren’t. Namely:
- It was to be ready in July (Mr Bale never said that was the case and indeed that turned out to be wrong)
- It will be offered through MSN (nothing that Mr Bale said suggested that was the case)
Never let the actual facts get in the way of a good headline eh? (Can you tell that I have a slight disdain for online journalism).
However, taken in context all of this is rather interesting given that Microsoft today launched a music streaming service under the guise of Zune:
Streaming Music, On Demand
Now as Zune Pass subscribers, not only can customers enjoy access to close to 6 million songs from the Zune Marketplace catalog for $14.99, the price of one CD a month, but they can also log into Zune.net and stream full albums and tracks through a computer’s browser.
I wonder if this is the service that Mr Bale was talking about. Will the Zune streaming service be offered through MSN given Mr Bale’s role in the company? Will this herald the introduction of the Zune service to the UK? (note that Mr Bale is head of MSN UK) Is this a portent to Zune devices being launched in the UK?
We can only hope!
UPDATE! I’ve just seen the following quote from Terry Farrell, Senior Project Manager for Zune (emphasis is mine):
“The bigger story,” Farrell contended, “is about how it (the Zune) is helping us build a new entertainment brand for Microsoft. Among the core pieces of this brand are the Zune HD, MSN and Windows Media Center. The idea is to provide a set of unifying services — the same video service/same catalog — across all of these devices.
So, it seems as though MSN is absolutely part of the bigger picture. I’m becoming more and more convinced that Zune streaming is the service that Peter Bale was talking about!
UPDATE 2: More intriguing still. The aforementioned Peter Bale has just posted the following on Twitter in reply to this blog entry: