Microsoft surprised everyone by rebranding its Xbox Music service to Groove yesterday. While many had expected the company to drop the Xbox Music naming, the Groove replacement won over alternatives like Microsoft Music and others that the company had been considering. The new Groove music service will be very similar to Xbox Music, so why the new name?
Consumers thought you needed an Xbox
Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore revealed on Twitter yesterday that the old brand was simply too confusing. "Lots of people were saying ‘I don't have an Xbox, why would I use Xbox Music?’" said Belfiore. That appears to be a common complaint around the service, and Microsoft also started dropping the Xbox naming from its Music and Video apps for Windows 10 back in March.
Microsoft’s official reason for picking Groove is because "Groove describes what people feel and do with music," but the final name also provides the company the ability to spin it off in the future if it’s unsuccessful. A name like Microsoft Music would make that possibility more difficult. Microsoft is currently rebranding Xbox Music and the first signs of Groove will start showing up in a new Windows 10 build that will be distributed to testers this week.