In a sad but somewhat expected move, Microsoft will retire its Groove music apps on Android and iOS. They will become unusable on December 1, 2018, though user’s personal music will still be available in OneDrive.
The tech giant put an end to its ‘Music Pass’ subscription pass last October, causing a widespread upset. It became a glorified local music player, and we noted then that it would struggle to compete with default offerings.
Despite the withdrawal, Microsoft will continue to update its apps on Windows 10, Windows Phone, and Xbox as promised. However, with cross-device compatibility, it’s likely the userbase will fall there too. The truth is that many users have migrated to Spotify as suggested, preferring a unified streaming experience.
The app has been available on Xbox One since last August, letting users play background music to complement their gaming. In April, it gave more features to free users, allowing unlimited skips on some playlists and AI-driven suggestions.
Meanwhile, Google is honing its own streaming and local music services, and will soon launch YouTube music. Apple Music is largely stagnant but remains a popular choice on iOS due to its extensive library.
In short, Groove Music was doomed to fail. Microsoft was too late to the market with Music Pass, doesn’t have enough of a hold on mobile, and its local music features are average. While we suspect the app will remain on Windows 10 devices for some time, further integration with third-party streaming services may be its best bet.
You can read more about the app’s demise on the support site.