Sunday, June 29, 2014

T-Mobile Jumps Ahead Of The Music Curve, And No One Noticed

T-Mobile Music Freedom image
Thanks to the latest Net Neutrality ruling by the FCC in May, the companies that control the digital pipes can that we all use now can begin to charge content providers for providing their customers with higher speed pipelines. 

AT&T’s new Sponsored Data Service is a good example, where content distributors pay for the privilege of their customers having no data restrictions so they’re able to consume more product without having their speed capped or charged extra. Of course, in the end this means that the end user will ultimately be penalized, since they’ll either have their data service throttled down by their provider if they breach their data limit, or charged a higher price by a music service to cover the cost of the sponsored service.

Last week T-Mobile launched their Music Freedom service that flies in the face of that idea though, as it provides no data limit for consumers accessing a number of major streaming services, including Pandora, iHeart Radio, iTunes Radio, Spotify, Slacker and Milk Music. This means that a T-Mobile subscriber can listen to an unlimited amount of music from these services without the fear of going over a monthly data limit.

Of interest is the fact that a number of music services weren’t included, at least in the initial announcement, the largest being Google Play All Access. This could ultimately be a distinct disadvantage for services not in the plan (especially smaller services without the deep pockets to make them competitive), but it’s not entirely clear if any of the services left out will be added as time goes on.

Studies have found that as much as 77% of all music streaming is done via smartphones, so it’s possible that whatever service provider offers the best mobile music deal will also get the most subscribers in the end. That’s why T-Mobile is out ahead of the curve with Music Freedom, while its competitors seem to look at the music part of their offerings as just another feature. Read more on Forbes.

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