Music Freedom: T-Mobile Unleashes Unlimited Music

If you love something, set it free. It’s time to love T-Mobile for setting music free. T-Mobile users can stream all the music they want, free from the fear of hitting their data limits. While the Music Freedom news was announced a few weeks ago, the airwaves have just lit up with new ads touting T-Mobile’s new music streaming plan. Sound too good to be true?

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?

jnemesh's picture

THIS is what we were afraid of when the ISPs started to break network neutrality! So now, T-Mobile will "give" you "unlimited" music...IF you use the apps that they support. Use a different music service? Too get charged more money! Or they throttle the speeds to the point where streaming is unlistenable.

This is the WORST thing to happen in networking in a very long time. It means that T-Mobile gets to extract extra money from the big players...and if they don't pay...YOU do! It means that all data is not being treated get charged more for listening to one app than you do listening from another!

Next you will see the same thing applied to video streaming as well. "Unlimited Netflix"...but not YouTube or Hulu..."Unlimited Vudu" but not Google Play Movies or Redbox Instant.

I highly suggest calling T-Mobile, if they are your provider, and INSISTING that they stop this practice IMMEDIATELY! If they do not, I would highly recommend moving to a different cell provider!

hk2000's picture

They are not throttling anything. You have a choice as you always did. I make use of this great feature, but I also listen to other streaming services that do count against my limit. I think it's a great idea AND they are adding more services.. it is clear from their language that they are offering it for the most popular services to get more people enticed to switch and are not picking and choosing or offering preferential treatment based on their desire to promote any of them per se.