Music Freedom: T-Mobile Unleashes Unlimited Music
According to a study by CivicScience, approximately 37% of mobile phone users avoid streaming music because it will use up their data allotments. Now, T-Mobile users don’t have to worry that their streaming music usage will count against their monthly totals. When Music Freedom was announced, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said, “Freedom means that every single note from right now will come free and not against your bucket. Even when you exhaust your high-speed data bucket, you will still stream and download music free at a high speed.” He also pointed out that with other carriers, you not only pay for your music, you have to pay for the commercials too. T-Mobile offers users a few different 4G LTE data packages that don’t have caps, but throttle back data speeds when users hit their limits. T-Mobile plans that now offer Music Freedom are the 4G LTE Simple Plans - 500MB for $50, 3GB for $60 and 5GB for $70 per month.
Part of the fourth-leading phone carrier’s ambitious new Un-Carrier strategy, T-Mobile has unleashed music from Pandora, Spotify, my personal favorite Slacker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, iTunes, with Samsung Milk and Beatport to be added soon. If your favorite service isn’t currently on the free-streaming list, T-Mobile is taking suggestions on who else should be added via a Facebook poll - Google Play, Beats and Rdio are under consideration.
T-Mobile users who already have unlimited data plans will be eligible for a new service from Rhapsody music - Rhapsody unRadio will be free for them, and $4 monthly for other T-Mobile users. It allows unlimited skips and is commercial-free. Win-win.
So what could possible be bad about data-free music? This new program runs headfirst into the net neutrality argument. If a company can decide that some types of bytes are free and others cost users, what prevents them from determining what other streams to limit or let flow? They’ve picked the music services they want to promote, but what happens to startups? Music lovers are thrilled, but what happens to videophiles? When service providers influence what people stream, what’s next? Net neutrality is a dangerous proposition, but it’s one that T-Mobile doesn’t seem to mind tiptoeing around, and well, stomping on.
What does this mean for you? Will you start streaming with abandon? Cancel your SiriusXM subscription? Kiss FM radio goodbye for good? All T-Mobile cares about is will it make you switch. Well,...will you?