Xbox Music users will no longer be able to stream music for free effective Dec. 1, according to Xbox Support.
Microsoft currently offers ad-supported free streaming music and radio on the web and Windows 8 devices in 15 countries. Once December rolls around, users on those platforms will have to pay for an Xbox Music Pass, which costs $9.99 per month; Microsoft offers a 30-day trial. This has always been the case on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, where customers have been able to access a 15-song trial before being asked to subscribe.
There's no specific explanation as to why Microsoft is discontinuing free streaming; the company said only that "we are focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers." The streaming shutdown won't affect any music that customers have purchased. And any playlist, radio stations or collections that users have created will still exist, but will be inaccessible for listening without an Xbox Music Pass.
Microsoft originally launched Xbox Music two years ago in October 2012, alongside the debut of Windows 8. The service has been available on Xbox One since the console launched last November.