MSN Music should not be seen as a direct competitor to Spotify or the recently announced Google Music service, according to the portal's Executive Producer.
Speaking to TechRadar, MSN's Peter Bale reserved praise for Spotify's model, but pointed out that the MSN Music download and streaming service was very different.
"It's a download service within MSN Music with an invitation-only streaming service for several thousand people," explained Bale.
"We've had partnerships with OD2 and then Nokia – but following changes to Nokia's music strategy we needed a new partner.
"We've gone with an in-house Zune back end from Microsoft but you shouldn't read into it that this is a big strategic push tactical move for the company as a whole."
Google Music and Spotify
With Google Music announced recently - using several media partners – Bale reiterated that this was not on the same scale.
"We have launched ours as a beta," he said. "It's modest…not a huge Microsoft product so I don't think it's comparable."
Despite this, Bale believes that Spotify deserves praise for finally providing a model that encourages people to choose a different option to piracy.
"Spotify, like us, is trying to provide good value music experience that is legal.
"It's got to be good for the music industry and cutting back on theft in intellectual property."