Microsoft is killing its Groove Music platform and making the switch to Spotify. Source: Shutterstock

Microsoft bids Groove farewell as Spotify takes center stage

GROOVE MUSIC, the last man standing in Microsoft’s proprietary music streaming and download services, is going to be shut down and replaced by Spotify, from Dec 31 onwards, Microsoft announced.

“We’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Spotify to bring the world’s largest music streaming service to you,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“We know that access to the best streaming experience, the largest catalogue of music, and a variety of subscriptions are on the top of your list.”

From the new year onward, customers on the platform, especially those accessing it through their Xbox, will not be able to buy music downloads through Groove. Subscriptions to the service will also be terminated, though users with memberships that run over will be offered a prorated reimbursement.

Users will be given the option of moving their music collections over to Spotify where eligible Groove Music subscribers will be offered a 60-day free trial of Spotify’s premium tier.


Spotify will become the official music platform for the Microsoft ecosystem. Source: Reuters

Like many of Microsoft’s in-house platforms, Groove struggled to gain ground against rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music. It took the place of Microsoft’s older Zune music service and also replaced the Xbox Music platform back in 2015, but now, just over two years since its launch, Microsoft is calling it quits.

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The overall Microsoft ecosystem has been weak and unable to onboard new users, which might be a reason why the company is pivoting hard towards its hardware and cloud offerings, areas where it has experienced significant success. It might seem to signal the company’s total surrender of its attempt to build a true app environment that could feed into its other software and hardware products.

Reactions from industry watchers and users have been mixed, with some saying that Microsoft’s Groove never had a chance to begin with, and others saying that the company has evidently decided to ignore the strategies of other companies building large, multi-service ecosystems like Apple’s or Amazon’s.

“Killing Groove is the worst thing that could happen as a consumer who tried to be all-in with Microsoft. That dream is over,” said Zac Bowden from news site Windows Central, on Twitter, according to the BBC. 

“Without consumer services, how does Microsoft expect people to ‘love Windows’ like they originally wanted?”

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“Not sure why anyone ever used Groove Music. Spotify has always been far superior. Microsoft wasted money and effort for years here,” said Tom Warren from tech news site the Verge, on Twitter.

Groove won’t entirely disappear though. The app would remain on devices running the Windows 10 operating system, and downloaded songs can be played. The company urged users to download their music before the shutdown date, and to move their playlists onto Spotify.