T-Mobile announces new ‘Music Freedom’ and ‘Unradio’ initiatives

By , Jun 18, 2014

music freedom

During T-Mobile’s event in Seattle tonight, the carrier announced a handful of new ‘uncarrier’ initiatives. There’s Test Drive, which we’ve already talked about here, and two new programs for music lovers: ‘Unradio’ and ‘Music Freedom.’

Unradio is an interesting new streaming music service from T-Mobile and Rhapsody that addresses “major pain points” of other services, and Music Freedom allows users to stream music without it hitting their monthly data allowance.

Keep reading for a full breakdown of both programs…

Unradio

Unradio is a joint venture between T-Mobile and Rhapsody that lets you replay tracks, listen to whatever specific song you want, and skip as many songs as you want in rotation. There’s no advertisements, and users will be able to listen offline.

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The service will be free to those with T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Unlimited plan (which is $80 per month), and $4 for all other T-Mobile users. Outside of that, anyone can subscribe for $4.99 per month, which is comparable to Pandora One.

While Rhapsody’s user base is minuscule compared to the likes of Spotify (1.7 million paid subscribers vs. 10 million), it does have a healthy library of over 20 million songs. The Unradio service and mobile apps will become available on June 23rd.

Music Freedom

T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere says that “every single note starting right now [from selected music services] will come free for T-Mobile customers” —even after they exhaust their data bucket. The company is calling this new initiative ‘Music Freedom.’

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The list of Music Freedom-compatible services currently includes Pandora, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Slacker, Spotify, Samsung’s Milk, and an upcoming service from Beatport, and the carrier says it plans to add other services in the future.

T-Mobile of course doesn’t charge for overages, but it does throttle data speeds once users hit prescribed limits, so you can see how this new program could be appealing to music lovers. It has, however, raised some serious concerns in the Net Neutrality debate.

Ultimately, I don’t think that Unradio will be a game-changer—other carriers have offered music service deals in the past—but the Music Freedom initiative is interesting. I wonder if other providers will follow suit, along with additional services like Netflix.

I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing though. What do you make of T-Mobile’s new ‘uncarrier’ announcements?

Images via The Verge

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  • Victor

    Meh, T-Mobile…

    • Rupinder S

      I have AT&T right now, and I want to switch pretty badly after seeing all this great stuff T-Mobile is doing. AT&T is complete crap compared to T-Mobile based on what I’ve been experiencing and hearing lately.

      • Quang

        Yeah, I’m on Tmobile and very happy with it :) It gives me more and more stuffs after every event.
        Hopefully Sprint wont be able to buy Tmobile.

      • Victor

        Quang? Where at?

      • Quang

        Los Angeles :)

      • Victor

        That’s why. Here in indiana it’s not developed as it is much smaller.

      • Victor

        Experiencing and hearing lately??? How so? I have AT&T and have never had a problem.

      • Rupinder S

        I used to have grandfathered unlimited internet, which they don’t offer. Without telling me, they started slowing me down once I got past 3 GBs of data usage, and told me they’d do so until I’d switch off of the data plan. So I was left with no option, but to do so. Their customer service is also horrible. When I was gifted an iPhone 5S, I had to go to the AT&T store to get a SIM card swap. The first location I went to swapped it, but didn’t activate my LTE. When I asked them why I still had 4G, two representatives reassured me that “it’s just temporary, you’ll get it in an hour”. Never happened. I went to a different location, and they said that it doesn’t just appear, they have to activate it through the computer. And not to mention their prices. I’ll be paying about $70 less on T-Mobile than I currently do. Most of my data usage goes to spotify, and on tmobile, streaming won’t count towards my data usage, which is awesome! Just my opinion, I’m sure you’ve got great reasons as to why AT&T is better. Have a great day.

      • Victor

        That’s a pretty weird case man but hey I like your respect and you can do what is better for you every area has different coverage etc.

      • Hugh Jassol

        I still have (2) grandfathered unlimited plans. My bill is $125 a month for both lines. What phone/contract were you fulfilling when they throttled you at 3GB? …Because AT&T throttles 3G/4G contracts at 3GB and LTE contracts at 5GB. After 5GB of usage with my current iP5, I get throttled down to .48 Mbps. Even then, I’m still able to stream music & video (albeit standard quality) unhindered.

        I still don’t understand why you ditched your grandfathered plan unless you meant IYO, …un-throttled data alone justifies what ever extra money you have to spend.

      • Rupinder S

        Sorry, it must have been after 5GB then, I knew I might have it wrong. But in my area, it was throttled to the point where I’d have to wait 10-15 seconds for my song to begin streaming, and then it’d stop halfway through most of the time. Then I’d have to wait. Webpages would take forever to load, it just wasn’t worth it and irritated me. But I’m glad it works for you!

      • Rupinder S

        Also, when I switched data plans, I had to do it over the phone. When I’d ask if it’ll affect my contract/reset it, the representative wouldn’t directly answer my question. She’d keep saying something along the lines of, “Sir, you now have changed your data plan.” over and over. So I just rage quit the call.

  • Lordrootman

    Nope to Tmobile

    • Antzboogie

      Hater.

  • Alberto M.

    considering the switch to t-mobile. Could save $20/month with their comparable plan.

  • Alberto Espinal

    I’m on T-Mobile and its not the T-Mobile that was back then, its a lot better, i get coverage that AT&T doesn’t get!

    • Jerry

      Reason I left att is because is a dead zone in my house and with tmobile I get full bars. So go figure.

      • Alberto Espinal

        Yea, same in my job, my friend has AT&T and he gets 1 bar, i get 3 and 4 bars

  • Blaqheart

    Kudos to Legere…hate him or love him, he’s making the Big Dogs take notice…

    • Victor

      It’s not him man. It’s people that own the company that tell him what to do.

  • Jerry

    Music freedom is the greatest news I’ve heard in a long time. I never streamed any music because of the data worry.

  • Guito Mendez

    T-mobile is awesome for adding Music Freedom! Hope other carriers follow suit.

  • Joseiscoollike

    This is horrible news for Net Neutrality.

  • Toan Nguyen Duc

    Is this only in the US or is Music Freedom also available in other countries like Germany?

  • Rodney Coleman

    Tmobile sucks. Good in the city but leave and 0 data

    Verizon or ATT

  • http://emayteeteex.wix.com/core emayteetee

    This is fantastic! I love listening to music as much as possible – when carriers introduced tiered data plans, I was limited to enjoying my own music. Yeah I could get a iPod or make a CD, but why do I have to when my phone does all of that plus more? I hope VZW/ATT take note!

  • Byron C Mayes

    iTunes Radio but not Beats Music? That’ll have to change soon enough.

  • Jason Masters

    When did tmobile start throttling? This is the first I’ve heard of throttling!

  • MacGuru17

    So…let me get this straight, will Spotify streaming and all of the other services listed be free, or it just doesn’t use your data allowance (or lack thereof) to listen to music with them?

    Regardless, I will really have no compelling reason not to ‘break up’ with AT&T and switch to T-Mobile if the test drive I’ll be doing goes well.

  • TonyVee73

    I have T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Unlimited Plan but Rhapsody still wants to charge me $4 a month.