Microsoft will withdraw its free Xbox Music streaming service on 1st December, the company has announced.

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The ad-supported option, available on Windows 8 devices and via the web, was launched in October 2012 as an alternative to the service's paid-for monthly pass and as a competitor to the likes of Spotify.

But Microsoft is now making its 8.99/$9.99 Xbox Music subscription the only way to access the service - something you already need to use the service on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

That price includes unlimited ad-free music streaming, offline listening on PCs, tablets and phones and access to around 90,000 music videos that you can probably already find on YouTube instead.

"We are focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers," Microsoft explained in a new FAQ on the changes.

"You may continue to view any playlists or collections you created using the free streaming feature, but you can't listen to the music in those playlists or collections unless you purchase the music or an Xbox Music Pass."

Current subscribers will be unaffected by the change. Any songs you may have bought outright will also remain yours.

Oh well, there's always Spotify.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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