Microsoft announced plans today to discontinue the company’s Groove Music Pass music streaming service, and music purchases in the Windows Store.

The company partnered up with the music streaming service Spotify to give users of its services an option to migrate to the service beginning as early as this week.

Microsoft plans to shut down the functionality to stream, purchase and download music in Groove Music after December 31, 2017. Groove Music itself won’t be shut down, but it can only be used to play local music once the switch has been made.

Groove Music changes

Microsoft plans to release an update for Groove Music that includes the option to move music to Spotify. The company plans to release that update to Windows Insiders this week, and make the update available to stable builds of Windows 10 and Xbox One in the week of October 9, 2017.

Existing users of the Groove application may migrate to Spotify in the following way:

  1. Launch the Groove application on a compatible device and sign in to your account if you are asked to do so.
  2. Once you are signed in, a popup is displayed in the application that explains what is happening (Groove Music Pass shutting down, migration to Spotify an option).
  3. Select the “move my music to Spotify” button to start the process.
  4. The next step depends on whether you are a Spotify customer already or not. If you are, sign in to the Spotify application. If you are not, create a Spotify account to continue with the migration.
  5. Once you are signed in, you may select the “move music” button in a popup to start the moving of your music collection and playlists from Groove Music to Spotify.
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Groove Music Pass content remains available in the Groove Music application until December 31, 2017. Users of Groove Music can move the content to Spotify until at least January 31, 2018.

Groove Music Pass users get 60 days of Spotify Premium access provided that they are eligible.

Microsoft gives no reason for the discontinuation of Groove Music Pass. The most likely explanation is that the service did not perform as well as Microsoft hoped it would be.

Important questions and answers:

  1. What happens to downloaded music after December 31, 2017?
    1. All Groove Music Pass content will be unplayable. This includes downloaded tracks, music videos, and streaming music.
  2. What happens to purchased music after December 31, 2017?
    1. Purchased music remains playable in the Groove application. It is important that users download and back up all their purchased music, as they won’t be able to download it after December 31, 2017 anymore.
  3. What happens to playlists?
    1. Playlists that you have created will be migrated. Playlists that you follow won’t be available anymore, and they won’t be migrated.
  4. What about Groove Music on older devices?
    1. Migration is not supported on older devices, e.g. Windows 8.1 or Xbox 360. A Windows 10 or Xbox One device is required to migrate to Spotify.
  5. What about subscriptions that extend beyond December 31, 2017?
    1. Microsoft plans to give customers a refund. Either in form of  refunds issued to the credit card or payment instrument on file if possible, or in form of a 120% Microsoft Gift card.

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