When people talk about digital music streaming services, the names Spotify, Rhapsody, and Pandora come up a lot. All three services started out by letting people stream tunes via computer, then they moved onto the smartphone platform. Muve, on the other hand, acts similarly, but it’s only found on phones. Users pay for unlimited streaming music by adding a $10 monthly fee to their phone bills. The service can be found on Cricket Wireless phones and has been quietly adding users from a largely untapped, minority market. Numbers are likely to grow after yesterday’s announcement that Cricket is coming out with a line of Android smartphones, pre-installed with Muve, priced at $50-$70 per month. From the New York Times:
“Cricket’s customer is young, is ethnic, and tends to be middle and lower income,” said Jeff Toig, the senior vice president of Muve Music. “This is not a segment of the market that the major technology companies innovate for.”
And yet, studies have shown that same demographic accesses the Internet more on phones than on computers. Again from the Times:
According to a study in June by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites to consider the phone their primary means of going online.
Current bills, with Muve, top out between $55 to $65, and it’s unclear whether the bump up in price for the new phones might prove to be too much.