Microsoft’s Zune music service today announced plans to reduce its monthly subscription rate to $9.99, from the current $14.99, but said the new rate for the Zune Music Pass won’t include the credits that allow users to download and keep 10 MP3s each month.
However, existing Zune subscribers can opt to remain at the existing $14.99 rate, and keep getting the existing credits for downloads. New Zune subscribers won’t have that option after the changes take effect Oct. 3.
The move brings the Microsoft service more in line with the broader industry, matching the basic monthly rate for the Rhapsody music service, for example. The arrival of Spotify in the U.S., featuring tight Facebook integration, has put pressure on established U.S. music services to step up their game.
Microsoft also announced that it will be expanding Zune music subscriptions into Canada. In addition, Microsoft says it will be giving Zune subscribers access to “tens of thousands” of music videos on their PCs and later through the Xbox Live service.
Bloomberg News reported in March that Microsoft would no longer be making new models of the Zune hardware, focusing instead on delivering the service through Windows Phone devices.