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Microsoft is ending free Xbox Music streaming

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You'll need to purchase a subscription to stream songs

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Microsoft is closing its free Xbox Music streaming service effective December 1st. The company will continue to offer music streaming through its Xbox Music service, but users will need to purchase an Xbox Music Pass to do so, at a monthly price of $9.99.

The company doesn't specify why it's removing the free, ad-supported streaming option, but says it's "focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers." Microsoft has updated Xbox Music a number of times since launch, producing versions for its newest Xbox One console and latest Windows Phone operating systems, but it still lags behind competitors such as Spotify in terms of social features.

You'll now need to pay $9.99 a month to stream from Xbox Music

Xbox Music originally launched alongside Windows 8 in October 2012, and came pre-installed on all devices running the operating system. It allowed users three ways to use the service: by paying $10 a month for an Xbox Music Pass, by downloading individual songs at set prices, or for free on PC, with ad support. Microsoft says this latter option is being shuttered, but users who purchased and downloaded songs will still be able to find them on their Windows PCs, tablets, and phones.