Microsoft sold its MixRadio streaming service to Line, the popular Japan-based messaging app. The two companies announced the deal today, though neither disclosed the financial terms of the purchase. It’s hardly surprising news, since Microsoft picked up MixRadio as a part of its acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services Division. The company already has its own Xbox Music subscription streaming service, and a Microsoft memo leaked earlier this year showed that MixRadio was up for sale.
Line, the messaging app from Japan, has acquired MixRadio, the free music-streaming service Microsoft gained through its Nokia acquisition, the companies announced Thursday. The deal gives Line, already popular with 170 million monthly active users, a new way to attract more customers at a time of rising interest in music streaming. It also explains what Microsoft would do with the music service after Microsoft said it would spin it off, as the company now focuses on “productivity.” Apparently music doesn’t make people productive. MixRadio’s service, which lets users create mixes around multiple artists, will stay alive. In fact, MixRadio will continue to work with Microsoft to offer a personalized music experience as a third party service on Lumia smartphones, Line said in its announcement. But as part of Line, it’s likely to find its way to more platforms. Line gives MixRadio “an excellent platform for expansion to provide a valid and appealing alternative to illegal downloading in many markets around the world,” , Microsoft said Thursday.
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