Muve service includes unlimited music downloads

Dec 21, 2010 By DANA WOLLMAN , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Recording companies fed up with people illegally downloading music have a possible solution: Add the cost of music to monthly phone bills.

Mobile phone operator Cricket Communications Inc. will introduce a new unlimited plan entitling people to talk, surf the Web, send text messages, stream video - and download music - to their hearts' content. The service, dubbed Muve Music, is the first of its kind in the U.S.

The service will cost $55 per month when it launches in January with a catalog of music from major recording labels such as , , and EMI Music. Muve even includes unlimited use of the popular app Shazam, which identifies the name of a song that is playing near the phone.

The plan's price is reasonable, given that Cricket subscribers already pay $55 per month for all of these unlimited features (minus the music downloads, of course) on a smart phone running Inc.'s software.

On its own, a comparable music subscription service, from the likes of MOG, Rhapsody, Thumbplay and Rdio, costs $10 a month.

Under the Muve plan, phone owners won't technically own the music they download. The music cannot be removed from the phone, for instance, and transferred to a computer or a digital music player such as an iPod.

And music will vanish if a subscriber cancels service.

That model dissuades cell phone customers from canceling, while receive an unspecified percentage of those $55-per-month subscriber fees.

Cricket, based in San Diego, doesn't require its customers to sign contracts as larger carriers such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless typically do. Cricket has more than 5 million subscribers, which it describes as predominantly low income. Only half of them, for instance, are estimated to have computers in their homes.

Their customers, it says, aren't likely to purchase songs or albums digitally through Apple Inc. or Amazon.com Inc., nor are they likely to subscribe to digital music services such as Rhapsody. The alternative for many people would be to download music illegally.

Cricket and music labels are hoping that Muve will provide an easier way for people to download music and entice them to begin paying for it.

The Samsung Suede ($199) will initially be the only phone that works with Muve. The phone can't download apps, but it has a 3-inch touchscreen, much like the iPhone, and can surf the Web and access e-mail.

Although Cricket's Muve Music plan is the first of its kind in the U.S., other companies have introduced similar plans internationally. In 2007, for instance, phone maker Nokia unveiled its "Comes with Music" plan, whose costs were baked into the monthly data and voice plans that subscribers were already used to paying. Like Cricket, the service was designed so that music couldn't be loaded onto players. In April, Nokia lifted that restriction, but only for Chinese customers.

Explore further: Japan court orders Facebook to reveal revenge porn IP addresses

2.3 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sony Music back catalog comes to eMusic

Jun 01, 2009

Sony Music Entertainment and eMusic announced on Monday that songs from Sony's back catalog would be available later this year through the online music store.

Sony becomes 2nd label on Vevo music video site

Jun 04, 2009

(AP) -- Recording company Sony Music Entertainment has joined Vevo, an online music video site due to launch this year with the backing of Universal Music Group and YouTube.

Music blog to offer high-quality song streaming

Oct 14, 2009

(AP) -- Consumers seem reluctant to sign up for online music services that charge subscription fees, yet a music blogging site is hoping to reel in music lovers by offering unlimited access to a catalog of high-fidelity ...

Recommended for you

Kickstarter suspends privacy router campaign

Oct 20, 2014

Kickstarter has suspended an anonymizing router from its crowdfunding site. By Sunday, the page for "anonabox: A Tor hardware router" carried an extra word "(Suspended)" in parentheses with a banner below ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

lexington
not rated yet Dec 21, 2010
I telepathically predict that most people won't get the service due to the "if you cancel we take it all back" clause and that the people who do get it will bitch like crazy when they decide they want to switch.