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Zune Pass gets $10 plan, Canada to rekindle Windows Phone

updated 01:40 pm EDT, Thu September 29, 2011

Zune Pass gets cheaper option, hits Canada

Microsoft in an update Thursday recommitted itself to music by launching a new, lower cost Zune Pass. The new option will cost the same $10 per month as competing services but drop the 10 free permanent MP3 tracks from the $15 original. Listeners will also sync to fewer computers and devices, down from six to four, when the plan goes live October 3.

Existing subscribers will be grandfathered in with their accounts, but new subscribers will have only the $10 plan to choose from.

The shrink came side by side with the frequently expected arrival of the Zune Music Marketplace in Canada. The store will have similar per-track and subscription pricing to that of the American store and work across all of Microsoft's platforms, including streaming on the Xbox 360 as well as the usual Zune apps, Zune devices, and Windows Phone. Those committed to a Zune Pass can get a discount at $100 Canadian ($97 USD) for a full year's access.

Both Canada nad the US will get music video streams on the Zune Windows app on October 3 and in the fall on the Xbox 360, most likely in time for the fall Dashboard update.

The price switch-up likely reflects a lack of adoption for Microsoft's $15 plan. While theoretically the best of both the pay-per-song and subscription worlds, it now faces much more competition from services like Spotify, Slacker, and Rdio that can provide on-demand listening for less, albeit without permanent copies. Its cheaper plan eliminates the difference but could make it the de facto choice for Windows Phone owners who might otherwise have gravitated towards a competing app.

Cheaper Zune Pass streaming should go on to eliminate a competitive gap with iOS and Android. The two have helped popularize streaming subscriptions in a normally hesitant US and typically don't need more than $10 per month. Microsoft has acknowledged that Windows Phone hasn't sold well, and while music is only a small factor, the minimum $15 per month for a Zune Pass left Windows Phone owners either paying only by the song and album or else having to look for another service.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MS's problem

    I love the Zune subscription service at $15.00 with 10 free tracks a month. That equates to 10 songs and a subscription for $5 or a subscription for $10 and 10 songs for $.50 each. Either way it is a great deal. iTunes cannot touch this great deal. I do think MS should allow both the old and new plan to exist at the same time and allow people to choose, but hey...

    The real problem is that the Zune software is limited to ONLY MS products: Windows, Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Zune HD (RIP). The Zune music subscription should be on iOS, Android, and OS X. I just don't understand MS sometimes (most of the time).

    I have been using a Samsung Focus and on Tuesday I updated to Mango. MS does it again. The music player allows the option of showing the artist on the lock screen, but it only works with music purchased from the Zune marketplace. I cannot get my artist information to show up when playing iTunes or ripped music, both of which have album art. The strange part is that my music does show the singer bio and such (nice feature).

    So I am going back to an iOS phone (4, 4S, 5...whatever comes out next week). While Apple annoys me sometimes, they do make the slickest and most reliable OS on phones and desktops.

  1. lvavila

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You go Canada

    Im sure it will be successful, you be-tcha!

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Ahahahaha! That's what you gotta love about MS. They cam keep losing money on a POS for years on end and not blink. Hopefully, eventually it will fixed or catch up and start selling. Companies who build stuff to fund their existence would have dumped this POS a long time ago.

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