Microsoft has quietly launched a new version of its Zune Pass, something we noticed after stumbling on the Annual Zune Pass webpage on Zune.net. Previously, Microsoft only offered a monthly pass for $15, which lets you keep 10 songs of your choice. The annual option runs $150.
That works out to $12.50 per month, or as Microsoft puts it, 10 months for $15 and two months free. If you decide to keep 10 songs a month, assuming each song is $1, then you're paying $30 for access to the Zune Marketplace for a year. In other words, if you were to buy 120 songs a year anyway, you would pay $2.50 a month for unlimited consumption of Microsoft's 10 million track music library.
We asked Microsoft when the new offering launched. "It went live yesterday in the US, UK, France, Italy and Spain," a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars. "The monthly subscription is for $14.99 in the US and €9.99 or £8.99 in European markets. The annual Zune Pass subscription is the same monthly offer, at a discounted price of 12 months of music for the price of 10 months." The change came on the same day that Microsoft released Windows Phone 7, which has Zune services built-in.
Source: ars technica