T-Mobile Offers Six Music Streaming Services Free Of Data Charges
June 19, 2014 at 3:59 AM (PT)
T-MOBILE CEO JOHN LEGERE announced WEDNESDAY (6/18) that the carrier will offer its "Simple Choice" subscribers six major music streaming services free of data charges, including PANDORA, SLACKER, iHEARTRADIO, SPOTIFY, SAMSUNG's MILK MUSIC and SFX's BEATPORT. Users will not incur data usage with the six services as they would with other carriers, a response to studies showing smartphone users concerned that they might use up data allowances by listening to the music services.
At a presentation for the media, LEGERE said, "Even when you exhaust your high-speed data bucket, you will still stream music free at a high speed." Responding to a question about what T-MOBILE would do if competitors match the offer, LEGERE said, "I don’t give a sh-t and I’ll celebrate because we’ve changed the industry." He said he did not think that offering just the six services outside the data "bucket" constitutes a breach of net neutrality (the services are not paying for the data-free status), and the carrier is asking customers to help decide which services to add next via an online poll or tweeting with hashtag #musicfreedom.
In a press release, LEGERE said, “As a committed music freak, I’m personally outraged at the way the other guys are using the music you love to lure you into over-priced plans with sweet ‘promotional offers’ that quickly roll into higher prices or trigger those absurd overage charges. Music should be free of all that. Music should have no limits. So, beginning right now, you can stream all you want at T-MOBILE from all of the top music services – data charges do not apply.”
Chief Marketing Officer MIKE SIEVERT added, “Our competitors want you to believe that Internet radio is still free on their networks – but it’s not. On AT&T and VERIZON, you’re paying for every note of every song you stream. You even pay for the ads. Our goal with Music Freedom is different. We want people to enjoy their music worry-free – the way it’s meant to be.” SIEVERT's omission of SPRINT, which offers unlimited data plans, may also reflect the widely rumored upcoming merger application of T-MOBILE and SPRINT.
The carrier is also offering "Simple Choice" customers a new exclusive music streaming service, unRADIO, in conjunction with RHAPSODY. The service, ad-free and allowing unlimited skipping and replays and including streams from "thousands of terrestrial stations," will be free to "Simple Choice" customers and $4 per month for other customers, and will initially be available only on iOS devices and on the Web.