Microsoft turns another free service into a money maker

The phrase 'nothing good comes for free' appears to be the latest motto coming out of Redmond, Washington, as Microsoft this week announced that it was turning another of its free content services into a fee-based offering.

          The phrase "nothing good comes for free" appears to be the latest motto coming out of Redmond, Washington, as Microsoft this week announced that it was turning another of its free content services into a fee-based offering.

          As of Monday, the company's MSN online radio service became the latest offering to be stripped of its freebie status. It follows the likes of MSN POP mail, which became a pay service more than a year ago, and additional online storage for MSN Hotmail accounts, which is also available for a fee.

          Announcing Radio Plus, MSN says it is offering listeners less of what they don't want. Although Radio Plus users will be required to pay $US29.99 per year for access to a variety of music, MSN said listeners will have the ability to search music based on genre, artist and other criteria. Paying listeners can also expect the buffering delay that precedes many a free song to disappear, according to MSN, along with audio advertisements and banner ads.

          MSN is not the only internet company seeking rewards from fee-based services. Last month Yahoo reported first-quarter earnings that were above expectations, attributing the results in part to fee-based services including its DSL and dial up offerings, which brought in $US63.7 million during the quarter.

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