Microsoft may cut monthly fee for streaming music on Zune portable player, Terry Farrell of Microsoft said in an interview. Zune Pass, which features unlimited music streaming and 10 song downloads a month, now costs $14.99. Farrell didn’t say by how much Microsoft may cut the service’s price. “It’s definitely a challenging business,” Farrell said, referring to competition in online music.
Microsoft is contending with rivals that offer music at little or no charge, while striving to erode Apple’s lead in the market for digital music players and downloadable songs. RealNetworks’s Rhapsody service in April slashed the monthly price of a premium music service to from $14.99–to$10
Zune had 2% of the U.S. digital music player market in first quarter, compared with 76% for Apple products, according to NPD Group Inc., a Port Washington, New York-based researcher.