There are some new changes announced with the Microsoft Zune Music Pass service. The first change is this pricing of the service being reduced form $14.99 to $9.99. This is designed to make the service more appealing to users and be in line with the other offerings available by competitors. Included with the service are the normal features to expect such as streaming music videos, access to a 14 million library of songs, and one of the largest collections of Indie music available online.
Microsoft has also included in their press release the launch of the service and availability in Canada. Also priced at $9.99, you can also opt to pay annually for $99. The service can be used via several platforms including the Microsoft XBOX, Window PC, Windows Phone such as unlocked HTC 7 Surround, Zune.net, and regular Zune devices. The one feature that is being removed form both services is the 10 MP3 downloads included per month. Once Microsoft has transitioned all their account holders to the $9.99 plan, they will remove the 10 MP3 downloads feature.
The official date of these changes is October 3rd, 2011. We expect to see additional changes in the near future to make their service more appealing for the holiday season. With the stiff competition in the industry, it will be important for Microsoft and their Zune service to be able to change with the times. Their rapidly growing user base of Windows Phone users such as unlocked Dell Venue Pro will position the Zune service to be used as the default music subscription service with their phone. If they add some additional features such as a cloud service, the Microsoft Zune Music Pass has the potential to become a major player. For now, they've decided to change up their pricing and features to fit better with the standard used today.