Music subscriptions services are like gas stations on the same intersection: They all have the same price, give or take. MOG/Beats, Rhapsody, Rdio, Samsung Music Hub, Spotify, Microsoft XBox Music Pass — take your pick, but you’ll typically pay ten bucks a month, assuming you want the ability to play the music on anything other than a computer. (Some services charge $5 for computer-only playback, or even nothing at all.)
On Thursday, Rhapsody boldly goes where no service has gone before, with a $5 per month deal that is available to people whose phones run on one of MetroPCS’s $40, $50, or $60 per month smartphone plans, none of which require an annual contract.
“It’s the best mobile music deal anywhere – and that’s not hyperbole,” said Rhapsody spokesman Tim LeRoy via email, and it’s true, we have not seen any other on-demand subscription cost $5 for mobile.
MetroPCS does not work with the iPhone (unless you try something like this), but it works with a wide variety of Androids. MetroPCS customers who want to add Rhapsody to their accounts can do so through their billing relationship with MetroPCS, Evolver.fm confirmed with Rhapsody spokeswoman Jaimee Minney.
MetroPCS is a bargain compared to most other smartphone service providers, and impressively, all of these plans purport to include unlimited data, which you can’t get from AT&T for love nor money, even if you’re supposedly grandfathered in. Even if the connection isn’t fast enough to stream high-bitrate music in realtime, Rhapsody’s apps have caching now, so you should be able to grab new tunes any time you want over the air (to be fair, we have not tested that).
Rhapsody will provide custom, regularly-updated editorial and programming to MetroPCS customers, which Rhapsody says is key to the offering. It also believes that bundling deals like this, where a service provider like MetroPCS handles the billing, represent a solid growth area for music subscriptions.
“We are thrilled to work with MetroPCS to bring on-demand music to the consumer with these amazing plans,” said Rhapsody president Jon Irwin. “The future of digital music is the mobile phone, whether it’s in your pocket, in your car or connected to an in-home audio system, and our future will be built on partnerships with service providers like MetroPCS, who can bring Rhapsody to a broader audience through compelling offers like this one.”
According to the announcement, 56 percent of all Rhapsody listening happened on the mobile phone in 2012, up from 27 percent in 2011.
Image courtesy of Google Play