Microsoft has lifted the lid on an ambitious new digital content service for Xbox 360 that will grant users the right to download as much music as they like for a flat monthly fee.
Called the Zune Pass, those who cough up the 8.99/€9.99 subscription will receive unlimited access to Zune's digital music library, all of which is DRM free.
Any downloaded content will be accessible via Xbox 360, PC and Windows Phone 7, though console users will be limited to streaming the data. If a customer has also bought the music video of any track which they chose to listen to, that will automatically play in the background when a song is listened to.
Consumers will fully own all content they purchase. Xbox Live Gold membership is required for access, though all users can take part in a 14-day free trial. Everything will also be fully controllable using Kinect.
This autumn will see the service rolled out to the UK, France, Spain and Italy.
Download to own pricing, we're not being specific on that today, because there are different pricing options for different albums, but you'll find the download-to-own pricing will be very competitive compared to other download-to-own marketplaces,” Microsoft's international PR manager Scott Rowe told Eurogamer.
MS added that since the original Zune Movie service launched on Xbox 360, the number of HD rentals has doubled and there has been a 157 per cent increase in the time spent watching movies on the console.