Mobile wireless provider Cricket's Muve Music unlimited cell phone music plan has roped in over 500,000 subscribers in less than one year. According to a new company announcement, since launching in January 2011, the digital song download service has also allegedly become the Number Two offering of its kind in the United States.
Available on some smartphones, including Android, the monthly wireless service rate plan eschews download and subscription fees and claims to have doubled its fan base between May and July 2011 alone. While plans cost $55 and up, Cricket says that customers downloaded over 500 million songs, including nearly 300 songs per month on average, and played featured tracks over 1.5 billion times by year-end. Citing present monthly stats of over 80 million downloads and 260 million listens, they also suggest that highlighted tracks account for over 40 hours of rocking out per individual on any given 30-day basis.
Cricket argues that portability, 3G download speeds and on-demand convenience make smartphones a viable alternative to alternative listening solutions such as iPods and MP3 players, and they believe that rapid audience growth should continue. But given a growing preponderance of cloud, streaming and online music listening solutions, as well as social media and group listening services, Muve Music's future still remains a question mark. Nonetheless, executives say that they're pleased with the service's performance thus far and that the uptick in interest points to the growing role that cell phones will play in music's more connected and virtualized future.
"We've brought a fresh approach to digital music and the wireless space… and developed an innovative product," said Muve SVP Jeff Toig in a prepared statement. "Specifically, architected for mobile phone and wireless delivery… our success through the first year of operation demonstrates that it's working." How well it will continue to work in the wake of dozens of inevitable new industry announcements that will break at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which opens tomorrow, remains to be seen.