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Microsoft Spotify rival for Xbox 360?

Platform holder to launch music streaming service, but will it hit Xbox Live?

Microsoft is to launch a new music streaming service similar to Spotify by the end of the month, it's been revealed.

The service will allow users to stream music for free and also download digital files to own, a company spokesperson told The Telegraph.

The MS service will be promoted through MSN and other parts of the company's online empire. But it's also been hinted that the music streaming service could be made available on Xbox Live, in a separate deal to the already announced integration.

"Music is an important area for Microsoft. We are looking at launching a music streaming service imminently," said Peter Bale, executive producer of MSN. "It will be a similar principle to Spotify but we are still examining how the business model will work."

For comparison, Spotify enables free, ad-supported music streaming, or ad-free streaming for a fee of £9.99 a month.