December 20, 2010

Cricket Adding New Music Service

Cricket Communications is launching a new music service that will offer unlimited song downloads as part of a monthly rate plan.

Cricket will sell a combined voice, data and text plan, along with all-you-can-download music, starting in January for $55 per month.

The company said the new Muve service will offer music from Vivendi's Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music.

"Muve will always have all the major content that all the major labels have," Jeff Toig, general manager of voice and data products at Cricket, said in a statement.

Muve will launch first on the $199 Samsung Suede, which is equipped with a special card from flash memory maker SanDisk.  The Suede will be able to hold between 2,000 and 3,000 songs.

The music is stored on and tied to the card, and cannot be removed.  If a customer stops paying for Muve, they will lose access to the music.

Toig said that the new service will also be available on smartphones running Google's Android software.

Leap competes with MetroPCS and Sprint-Nextel's unit Boost Mobile, and caters to the pay-as-you-go market, which has low average revenue per user.

Cricket operates in 34 U.S. states and has over 5 million customers.  The majority of its customers pay in cash and have income less than $50,000 a year.  About half are under the age of 35 and do not have a personal computer.

Toig said Muve represents a different approach than music services like Apple's iTunes.


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