Microsoft announced on Thursday that it is changing its Zune Music Pass (which I thought was called Zune Pass--when did this change?) subscription service and bringing it and the Zune Music Marketplace to Canada.
There are two changes coming to Zune Music Pass. First, Microsoft is adding music video download and streaming to the service and will offer "tens of thousands of music videos" through the Zune PC software and, later this fall, the Xbox 360. Second, Microsoft is eliminating the $14.99 per month subscription offering, which includes 10 free MP3 song downloads each month, and replacing it with a $9.99 per month offering that does not include the downloads.
Customers who are already using the existing subscription offering can continue to do so and will receive the 10 free songs each month for the duration of their subscriptions. But the new offering will take effect on October 3, 2011; any new subscriptions from that point on will utilize the lower price point (and not gain access to the free song downloads).
One item not mentioned in the Microsoft blog post is that the number of devices you can use with a Zune Music Pass is going down with the new subscription: With the $14.99 subscription, you can connect up to three PCs and three portable devices (Windows Phones and/or Zune devices). But with the new $9.99 offering, you can only connect four devices, which can be any combination of PCs and portable devices.
Microsoft says that its Zune Music Pass service features "unlimited, on-demand access to more than 14 million songs and tens of thousands of music videos."
Meanwhile, Microsoft is also bringing Zune Music Pass and Zune Music Marketplace to Canada, a scant five years after it launched its first Zune products and services in the US. These services will also rollout on October 3, 2011, Microsoft says.