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Nokia MixRadio to spin off after Microsoft cuts

The streaming music app will still be preloaded on Windows Phone devices, but will also be able to explore other platforms, like iOS and Android.


Nokia's streaming-music app MixRadio has become another casualty in Microsoft's deep cuts, but the service will live on as a standalone platform, its chief executive has confirmed.

Speaking to The Guardian in an interview published Friday, MixRadio chief Jyrki Rosenberg confirmed that "basically, we're planning a spin-off" from Microsoft. He added that while the streaming music service will continue to be preloaded into Windows Phone devices, once MixRadio becomes a standalone company, it can explore opportunities on other platforms, like iOS and Android.

Microsoft announced Thursday that it will cut 18,000 jobs as part of its plans to make the company more agile and convert its focus from devices and services to the cloud and mobile. The majority of those cuts -- 12,500 -- will come from the Nokia division that Microsoft acquired earlier this year for $7.2 billion.

While much of the attention on the Nokia cuts went to the mobile division, other services the company provides, including MixRadio, have also been given the ax. Based on Rosenberg's comments, however, it wasn't an unexpected cut.

"I've been meeting with potential investors around the world in the last few weeks," Rosenberg told The Guardian.

MixRadio launched as Nokia Music in 2011. The service attempts to distinguish itself in the crowded streaming-music market by providing preloaded mixes along certain categories. Competitors like Pandora and Spotify allow customers to choose a song and create curated playlists based on those tracks.

That MixRadio can be spun off into its own operation might be good news for the service. So far, it's only been offered on Nokia devices, leaving the vast majority of the market untapped. According to Rosenberg, the service has "millions" of users and since it will be able to attract iOS and Android users after the spin-off in addition to Windows Phone users, he believes that number could jump.

CNET has contacted Microsoft for comment on the MixRadio move. We will update this story when we have more information.