You might have heard about Microsoft’s plan to roll out Xbox Music. The music service plans to go toe-to-toe against music giants like iTunes and Google and even smaller companies like Spotify by offering music to the already large Xbox community. Ewald Christians VP Product Development at TuneCore was available to ShockYa and ShockYa’s sister site, TechCheddar, to talk about what Xbox Music could do to the online music world. According to Christians, the service is poised to do much better than Microsoft’s other foray, Zune, but the jury is still out on whether the new service will create a dent in the online music scene.
How will Microsoft’s Xbox Music announcement affect the landscape of online music?
Ewald Christians: Microsoft’s previous efforts had virtually no impact. They have to prove they can make a difference. That means having millions of people flock to the device and use it early & often.
Does Xbox Music have the ability to reinvigorate Microsoft’s foray into the online music scene?
Ewald Christians: Xbox Music is certainly better situated to be successful than Microsoft’s previous efforts, simply due to the large Xbox user base they start out with and their bundling power (Windows8).
Xbox Music is also planning to go up against smaller companies like Spotify. Will Xbox Music take on too much by going after iTunes, Google and Spotify?
Ewald Christians: This service is about solidifying the Xbox ecosystem for Microsoft, first and foremost. I see that as a defensive move at a time when more and more people move to mobile music experiences. Taking away market share from competitors, going on offense, will only work if Microsoft gets the user experience right.
Will Xbox Music be a viable way for musicians to successfully promote their music?
Ewald Christians: Xbox is a platform with millions of users that have shown they’ll use the Xbox for things other than gaming. Those users also are willing to pay for content other than games. That’s a lot more promising, especially for artists and labels, than starting from scratch (as Microsoft did with Zune). It remains to be seen if Xbox Music is easy, convenient & fun enough to use to really capture people’s attention on a device made for gaming & video.
If Xbox Music succeeds in reinvigorating Microsoft, what will the competitors have to do to one-up it?
Ewald Christians: Microsoft is playing catch-up. I don’t expect Xbox Music to be particularly groundbreaking in changing how people listen to music.