Hey Spotify: Muve Music Now Has 1.4 Million Paying Subscribers…

Here’s one problem with betting hundreds of millions on Spotify: insane amounts of competition.  Because even if the streaming subscription model ultimately holds water, any one service is likely to get diluted by a bunch of other services.

Which brings us to Muve Music, still the number one streaming subscription service in the US.  But unlike the more sophisticated Spotify, Muve revolves around mobile bundling, and lower-income (and more mobile-focused) consumers.

And it’s working: according to a recent disclosure from Bill Ingram, executive vice president of strategy at Muve carrier Cricket Wireless, roughly 1.4 million customers are now paying for Muve-bundled plans (and this is US-based only).  The comments were made at Mobile World Congress, happening all this week in Barcelona.

Which means, Muve could be stretching ahead in a serious and very different way.  According to the latest disclosures, Spotify has one million paying subscribers, and Rhapsody has the same.  Others, like Google, Deezer and maybe even Apple, have yet to enter the American market.

But those are, for the most part, dedicated subscription accounts.  Which means the future of streaming music could be packaged in a far more complicated bundle.  Part of this is coming from a place of financial duress, but Cricket is now making moves to spin off Muve Music into a separate entity, and then license that entity for other carriers to use.  “It will be a completely separate entity,” the company just told the Wall Street Journal.

Which means, Cricket Wireless won’t be the only one offering Muve in the future; in fact, you may not even see ‘Cricket’ or ‘Muve’ anywhere on the replicated versions.  And, each will have all sorts of possible variations.  “Muve’s flexibility would allow operators to start pricing music in much more accessible ways, for instance selling subscription for 10 cents a day or restricted plans for as low as 50 cents a month,” GigaOM relayed, also from Barcelona. And with that, here’s the latest breakdown of who’s subscribing to what.

8 Responses

  1. RADIO Man

    There’s a few more subscription services you’re missing:

    Sony Music Unlimited



    But yes, it’s very crowded.

  2. Confused

    There hasn’t been much reporting on the bundled music service business model. It seems to be a viable option to stand alone streaming services.

    So what is the bottom line?

    Is Muve profitable?

    Or is it losing money until they reach a very large user base like other streaming services?

    Are voice/data service providers reluctant to bundle in music at $3.00 a month premium – $.50 a month basic?

    Any link to more details would help

  3. Me

    But what’s the breakdown of who’s subscribing to what as of February 27 of this year?

  4. Adam

    But the real question is does anyone use it? Just because it’s bundled to millions doesn’t mean it’s a success. I’ve got hundreds of channels bundled with my cable subscription but never watch them. Does anyone actually know someone using Muve?

    • Econ

      Isn’t bundling the cabe TV model? You pay for EVERY channel you receive whether you watch it or not. It may only be 25 or 50 cents a month, but you ARE paying and that is real income to the company operating the channel. You pay $5 a month for ESPN regardless.