Streaming music is big business, just ask Apple about its $3 billion (R32 billion) purchase of Beats Audio. But according to The Guardian, Microsoft is letting go of one of its two streaming music services in the form of MixRadio (the other streaming service is Xbox Music which isn’t available in South Africa).
Originally called Nokia Music, the MixRadio service has been a staple on Windows Phone-running smartphones since they launched from the Finnish smartphone maker. Instead of offering albums and single songs to stream, MixRadio offers full curated playlists, which follow a specific a specific genre or theme, which change periodically adding in new tracks and taking away others.
The app is free to use for all Windows Phone users, but the ability to skip through tracks more than a few times per hour, cache more than four playlists for offline use and stream high quality audio files over WiFi cost R25 a month for the MiXRadio+ service.
Fast forward to the present day and Nokia’s devices and services division is now a part of Microsoft (and said parent company has just announced a wide ranging set of layoffs that will cost 18 000 employees – 12 500 of whom are from Nokia – their jobs). Instead of just closing down MixRadio, Microsoft has reached a deal to spin the unit off into its own company which will still see the MixRadio app pre-installed on Windows Phones but will give the team the chance to offer it on Android and iOS as well.
With the likes of both Deezer and Rdio’s streaming services already available on multiple operating systems in South Africa (and the rumours of the impending launch of another competitor in the space) MixRadio will not have the easiest time of making a play for our streaming music spend every month but at least it has the chance now that it has the potential for an OS agnostic lifestyle.[Source – The Guardian, Image – Nokia]