Telegraph, Peter Bale, executive producer of MSN, announced that Microsoft will launch a streaming music service "imminently" -- by the end of July, according to the Telegraph. Bale said the service will perform similarly to Spotify, a streaming music service which offers both an ad-supported listening option as well as a premium subscription with no ads (similar to Pandora in the US), though Microsoft has yet to reveal the business model of its service. Bale added that Microsoft is considering extending the service to the Xbox 360, though he divulged no concrete details.
Having already announced support for another music streaming service on Xbox, Last.fm, it's surprising to hear this announcement so soon after E3. It's not surprising, however, to think Microsoft would prefer to see its own service on the Xbox 360 as well. After all, the company has seen sizable success in renting movies and selling television shows on Xbox Live Marketplace, making music the next logical step.
With Microsoft set to unveil the Zune HD this fall, we wouldn't be surprised to see the new music service tying into the new Zune Video marketplace as well.