Tuesday, November 25, 2014

T-Mobile adds 14 music apps that don’t count against data caps

Kif Leswing/gigaom

T-Mobile’s “Music Freedom” program allows users to stream music from various services without it counting against subscribers’ monthly data allotments. On Monday, T-Mobile added several new music apps to its list of supported services, including heavy-hitters like Google Play Music and SoundCloud.

The new services that no longer count against T-Mobile subscriber caps include:

Google Play Music
Xbox Music
Digitally Imported
Fit Radio
Fresca Radio
Mad Genius Radio

They join a roster which previously included:
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iTunes Radio
Black Planet
Radio Paradise
Samsung Milk


In August, T-Mobile claimed that it had streamed over 7,000 TB of music that didn’t count against data caps. T-Mobile is now saying that 200 TB of music data is streamed daily on average. At an average of $10 per 2GB, those figures work out to millions of dollars of data charges saved.

T-Mobile says that its free music streaming program is consumer-friendly and a good reason for consumers to switch carriers.

But if you’re invested in the net neutrality fight, there’s reason to be wary of toll-free data plans. Because T-Mobile usually throttles user data when users reach their cap, Music Freedom is effectively giving preferential treatment to those services which have signed up for T-Mobile’s program.

Although T-Mobile, in its press release, makes clear that music services don’t need to pay to be included in Music Freedom — “No backroom deals. No paid prioritization.” — it’s not hard to imagine a situation in the future where T-Mobile or another carrier refuses to grant a streaming service data-free status because of business.

Perhaps that’s why T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to Twitter last week to say he opposes President Obama’s plan to reclassify broadband providers under Title II rules from the Telecommuncations Act of 1996:

8/ Title II is heavy regulation and Section 706 is lighter.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) November 11, 2014

9/ I favor the 706 version, if regulated, because… did I mention how much I love innovation?!
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) November 11, 2014

10/ Less regulation = #uncarrier innovation and disruption for consumers!#MusicFreedom #SimpleChoice with #UnlimitedData

— John Legere (@JohnLegere) November 11, 2014

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