Microsoft Gives Up On Its Groove Music Service, Says To Use Spotify Now

Spotify inched a little closer to owning the whole music streaming market today. Microsoft announced that its own subscription streaming service, Groove, will be mothballed, and that it's arranged a partnership to move you Groove-lovers into a safe zone with all your tunes.

Image: Microsoft

According to a release from Microsoft, an update will be available in Windows 10 next week that will make it pretty easy to move over all of your playlists into a Spotify account. For Windows Insiders, the feature will be available this week. You can read detailed instructions on how the migration is executed right here, but it's basically just log into the Groove app when the update drops and follow the instructions that pop up. Groove's subscription service will shut down on December 31. There's also an FAQ with more details for users who have an annual subscription.

Because it's built-in with Windows, there are probably plenty of people out there who are using Groove to manage their local music. There's no shame in that; once you get into a system, it can be hard to move out. For now, Microsoft says it's still going to support the Groove music player for use with music on your hard drive, it's only dropping the streaming subscription. Still, for the sake of convenience, you'll probably just want to move your local files into Spotify as well.

It's a humble end for Groove, which originally started as Xbox music before getting a hip rebranding. It was a fine app, just fine. But it wasn't strong enough to compete with Spotify. According to a recent survey from Edison Research, Pandora is still leading the streaming pack. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Pandora reported its user base had reached 81 million people. But it's still considered a dark horse in this race because it hasn't managed to convert its free users into paying customers. Spotify is number two in the market and isn't making money either, but it does have 60 million paying subscribers and is generally considered the cooler service. Of course, Apple is coming up from behind with 27 million paying users, and impressive year-over-year growth on its Apple Music service.

Feel free to write a sonnet about Groove's interface or scream at Microsoft in the comments below.




    I'd have to disagree that it was a "fine app". At launch/rebrand it had fewer features than the app it replaced. There were also terrible issues with it suffering major usability issues on their own mobile OS.

    ARGH!!! Microsoft, what are you doing to me?
    I just transitioned from Spotify to Groove as I was able to combine MS rewards points with new user bonuses to get about 9 months subscription for free.
    While it's still an awesome app, I'm hoping there'll be a true Spotify UWP app coming soon.

    Groove, which originally started as Xbox music

    No it didn't. It was Zune Music Pass before that, and possibly something ("Urge"?) before that. Microsoft's subscription music service was one of the first.

      The whole thing started as MSN Music in 2004 and went from there. At one point they had the largest library of any service. Over the last couple of years they’ve re-signed less and less contracts, letting it slowly die. They did such a poor job of rebranding and re-launching from Zune to Xbox, and then basically no effort whatsoever from Xbox to Groove, it’s not surprising they lost their entire market.

    The thing that Groove has on Windows 10 that no other (big name at least) streaming app seems to is playing while in connected standby. Hopefully Microsoft helps Spotify go full UWP now and implement that.

    Yeah. Did not like Groove at all. Their song selection was mild at best.

    Plus when i did want to end my subscription. They said i had to pay another month just to cancel it because had let the sub laspe by 1 day.

      I like the groove program for playing my music. I have never paid for a music subscription though so not sure how that side of the program was.

      But in terms of playing an extra month that is not MS problem, as you did miss your deadline to cancel. I cant think of any company who would cancel your subscription once you have gone over the cancellation deadline. Contracts can be a bitch.

        I cant think of any company who would cancel your subscription once you have gone over the cancellation deadline. Contracts can be a bitch.

        Every other subscribtion service i have used. If the sub laspses and i need to pay for another month but instead choose to cancel. They let me cancel. None of them have forced me to pay for another month just to cancel the sub.

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