After adding streaming music services, what can carriers offer customers in the future?

July 14, 2014
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Sprint-Spotify Inferse

In the last year, wireless carriers have been includingĀ streaming music plans to their service (some free, some at a discount) in order to entice customers to stay with them.

  • Those who purchase the first Amazon phone (through AT&T) will have a year of free music streaming through Amazon’sĀ prime subscription.
  • T-Mobile’s latest ā€œuncarrierā€ tactic allows T-Mobile customers to use a number of streaming music services without having that data counted against their data caps if the customer is paying at least $50 per month.
  • In January, AT&T signed an exclusive deal withĀ Beats Music to offer a streaming music service with plans ranging from $9.99 to $14.99 depending on whether the customer is on an individual or family plan.
  • In May, Sprint andĀ SpotifyĀ agreed to offer allĀ Sprint’s Framily calling plans a six-month trial of the music service. Once over, the customer will be able to purchase a subscription toĀ Spotify at the discounted rate.

Adding music services to a customers service is not new. Does anyone remember the Cingular Music Store? Sprint Music Store? Verizon V CAST Music Store? One reason (amongst others) why they all failed was because the carriers all thought that they could run a network and operate a content store. They couldn’t.

25966-hi-cing_music PRNewsWire

But, what can the carriers offer to entice customers in the future? FierceWireless has the most likely offer:

“The next step could be to bundle music with other over-the-top services, such as Netflix or an OTT messaging service, and either offer a discount or not count the data usage, as T-Mobile is doing with streaming music, Current Analysis analyst Weston HenderekĀ said. Such plans would give carriers “more mechanisms to hold the line on pricing and potentially push [customers] up the pricing curve,” he added.” - FierceWireless

This wouldn’t the first time that a wireless carrier tried such a thing. In may, we reported that from July to December, Vodafone was going toĀ bundle a six-month Netflix subscription when you signed up to one of its Red 4G plans.

One reason for this push continues to be the wireless carriers wanting to find a new way to keepĀ their current customers.

“It’s becoming harder and harder to find customers,” Current Analysis analyst Weston Henderek said. “Carriers are doing more to hang onto customers they do have.” - FierceWireless

They could try to lower the price of their plans. Or is that too crazy of an idea?

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