Will music streaming be free after this? Before the advent of the mobile era, music on radio and tv channels was free (nevermind the ads), as long as you have got the receiving device and are subscribed to the channels. Seems like we are back to how it was, only that this time we can bring this music with us on our mobile devices - phones, tablets, phablets and listen to endless tunes for free wherever we are. With T-mobile's Music Freedom initiative, subscribers now have access to popular music streaming services which include Pandora, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Slacker, and Spotify and listen to their hearts' content without having to worry about their mobile data charges. T-Mobile, one of the largest mobile operators in the United States, offers the free service on its high speed 4G LTE data service and includes music services from its partners such as Samsung's Milk Music and the forthcoming Beatport music app from SFX.
Free music streaming is expected to draw younger subscriber groups - the millenials and the generation z- as they spend a lot of time tuning into the latest tunes and beats, but are often restricted in accessing music on their data connection for fear of overages and huge data bills.
An earlier research, published by Strategy Analytics based on a study across the US, China, France, Germany, Spain and the UK, revealed that 72% of mobile phone owners listen to music on their phone actively, or at least once a week, when music is bundled into their tariff compared to 46% for users without music bundled mobile plans. Significant increases in the hours spent on listening to music on mobile devices is noted not only among the younger subscriber groups, but also for older age groups with 52% of consumers 55 years old and above listening to music on their phone, and almost 60% doing so once per week or more.
So will other Operators follow suit? Definitely. Operators, not only those in the US, but world over, will be working on packaging music content as part of their tariff plans to lure more people to sign up with their mobile data services, as the competition to attain bigger market shares intensifies among Operators, especially on 4G LTE services.