Cricket's Muve Music attracts 200,000 subscribers

September 8, 2011 By RYAN NAKASHIMA , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Muve Music, the unlimited music plan offered by prepaid cellphone company Cricket, has doubled the number of subscribers it has to 200,000 in the past two months.

The milestone announced Thursday makes Muve the clear No. 2 in the subscription category behind only , which has about 800,000 subscribers.

Cricket, a division of the nation's seventh-largest carrier, Inc., also announced that it would begin offering the service along with unlimited voice, data and texting for $65 a month on Android-powered smartphones by the end of September. Up until now, the service has only been offered on a traditional cellphone with stripped-down capabilities for $55 a month, a deal that also offered unlimited voice, data and texting.

Cricket's has grown rapidly since launching in January, partly because it bundles the music service with customers' regular cellphone bills and eliminates incremental charges for downloading new songs. Users on average download more than 400 songs per month and listen to music two to three hours per day.

Songs acquired through Muve and other subscription plans cannot be transferred off the phone and expire if the monthly subscription is cancelled, but can be listened to outside of cellphone range.

Rhapsody has been around since 2001 and costs $10 a month on its own. Starting last month, Rhapsody leapt into competition with Muve by offering a bundled $60 monthly plan that also covers voice, data and texting on Android phones in partnership with Communications Inc., the nation's fifth-largest wireless carrier. Rhapsody has been offered as an add-on service through for several years.

Despite having a smaller following, Muve said it accounted for 70 percent of plays of the top 10,000 songs played on in July in the so-called "tethered streaming" category that it shares with Rhapsody, MOG, Spotify and Rdio, citing . statistics. The category does not include songs purchased through Apple Inc.'s popular iTunes service, which charges a one-time price for songs that can be transferred and kept forever.

Jeff Toig, general manager of Muve Music, said the usage data is "staggering."

"They're putting down their MP3 players, their iPods, and they're making the phone the centerpiece of their music experience," Toig said.

Recording companies like Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group Corp. are enthusiastic about licensing music to subscription services because one-time download sales through online stores such as iTunes and haven't made up for a decade-long drop in CD sales.

see music plans as a way to attract new customers and keep them longer while boosting monthly revenue. More than half of Muve Music's customers are new to Cricket, the company said.

Muve's Android interface is the same as the one it launched on the older Brew platform for feature phones, but its response time is somewhat quicker. Toig said the company is preparing upgrades that take advantage of Android's notification bar and improve Muve's search function.

It is also contemplating song files that contain more data than now because the Android platform will be compatible with Wi-Fi wireless networks. Larger file sizes would not tax the company's cellphone network if downloaded over Wi-Fi.

Explore further: MetroPCS starts unlimited music plan with Rhapsody


Related Stories

Rhapsody cuts monthly music plan to $10 at spinoff

April 6, 2010

(AP) -- Subscription music service Rhapsody is dropping its monthly price to $9.99 from $14.99, hoping that loads of iPhone users who sampled it will now pay for all-you-can-listen access.

Facebook to allow further music integration (Update)

August 31, 2011

Facebook is preparing to bolster the programming tools it offers to licensed music services like Rhapsody, Spotify, MOG and Rdio to make it easier for users of the social network to find out what songs their friends are digging.

Recommended for you

Volumetric 3-D printing builds on need for speed

December 11, 2017

While additive manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3-D printing, is enabling engineers and scientists to build parts in configurations and designs never before possible, the impact of the technology has been limited by ...

Tech titans ramp up tools to win over children

December 10, 2017

From smartphone messaging tailored for tikes to computers for classrooms, technology titans are weaving their way into childhoods to form lifelong bonds, raising hackles of advocacy groups.

Mapping out a biorobotic future  

December 8, 2017

You might not think a research area as detailed, technically advanced and futuristic as building robots with living materials would need help getting organized, but that's precisely what Vickie Webster-Wood and a team from ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.