Users of Microsoft’s Xbox Music subscription service and online music store are getting the ultimate Black Friday 2014 deal. As part of its holiday promotions, Microsoft is giving Xbox Music users 100 free albums and deep discounts on other albums too.
Microsoft itself has yet to announce the music. Instead, news of them comes by the way of the Music Deals app that it launched for Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices earlier this year. Normally, cheap albums in the Music Deals app are broken down into three different sections. Today, there’s a fourth labeled Holiday freebies. For the next 20 days users will be able to download entire albums from Eminem, Jessie J, Maroon V, U2, Norah Jones, The Rolling Stores, Mumford & Sons, Kanye West, Linkin Park and more absolutely free.
There are no other hoops to go through. Clicking or tapping on each one of the free albums takes users to the Xbox Music app for Windows or Windows Phone. Free albums have a Get it for Free button that users can click on. Again, It’s possibly the best Black Friday 2014 deal on music around. It gets better though.
Each week Microsoft uses the Music Deals app to sell popular albums for around $1.99. Microsoft is still doing that today too. Categories this week include Workout Jams and Must-Have Box Sets. Albums in both categories are going for just $1.99. Microsoft has also discounted the ShadyYXV album to just $.99. These deals only last a week though, not the full twenty days like the free albums promotion.
Normally, you’d assume that a deal like this would be to build a profile for the service in question. For example, Spotify offers free music streaming in the hope that smartphone owners will subscribe to its paid service. It’s unclear what the motive here is for Microsoft. The company announced it was killing its ad-support free music streaming service in early December.
Perhaps the company is hoping that giving away the free albums will help build the profile of its Xbox Music Pass service. For $9.99 a month users get to stream entire albums and playlists without ads, download music for off-line playback and streaming music videos.
Users can only purchase music through the Xbox Music apps on Windows, and Windows Phone. That being said, the service has apps on iPhone, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Android too. There’s also a web app so that users can stream music to any PC with an internet connection. Albums that are purchased through the Windows or Windows Phone apps can be stream through all the others. Xbox Music also offers a cloud music collection system for making any songs stored on its PC available on other devices with as little effort as possible.
Microsoft faces some extreme competition in the music streaming and purchasing space. Last year, Apple purchased the fairly new Beats Music streaming service. Rumors are that it has plans to install the service’s apps on every iPhone going forward.
Google launched its own streaming music subscription service last year. It’s called Google Play Music all Access, and the service works much the same way as Xbox Music – except that it has better apps on iPhone and Android. None of these services are as popular as market leader Spotify. Spotify is available in multiple markets internationally, allows free music streaming, paid premium music streaming and apps on nearly every platform there is. The Spotify platforms that don’t have an app themselves, have third-party apps available.
Don’t forget to download the Music Deals apps for Windows and Windows Phone. They are the only reliable way of tracking down the different free albums included in this Black Friday 2014 deal.