T-Mobile just announced a new initiative yesterday called Music Freedom. This program allows customers to stream a few music services, selected by T-Mobile, without it affecting customers’ monthly data allowance. These music services include Pandora, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Spotify, the forthcoming Beatport, and a few others. They’ll also be taking votes on their website and twitter for other services to add to their exemption list. T-Mobile is offering this free of charge to content providers.
On paper it looks great. I use Pandora a lot and it makes me get very close to my data allowance each month so being able to stream with no worries sounds great to me! However, you have to see the bigger picture.
Why does T-Mobile gets to dictate who gets preferential treatment on their network? What about the small start ups barely trying to make a name for themselves? It would be a hard sell when customers can use free data with the larger providers. With data consumption steadily increasing, small start ups can’t compete with free.
What if this isn’t the end? What if photo services are next to get an exemption? It seems like a slippery slope and not a road I would want carriers to go down. On the surface, it looks like a huge win for customers like myself who have a problem using up a lot of data, but I would rather limit myself than have a select few content providers get preferential treatment. I don’t think anyone should be treated unfairly. What are your thoughts?