Cricket has long been touting its Muve Music service as an important part of its smartphones since it launched in January 2011, and now it looks like the carrier wants to make the subscription service available to even more users. Cricket has revealed to GigaOM that it's planning to spin Muve Music off into a separate company with the hope doing so will convince other carriers to license the service. Muve Music will become a completely separate company that'll offer all of its usual music distribution and discoverability to a licensee, but it would allow the carriers to rebrand the service and sell it to consumers however they'd like. Cricket has said that it's already got a Muve Music licensing deal with an unnamed international carrier that's expected to be finalized within the next month.
Muve Music currently touts over one million subscribers, having gained half of that in recent months after Cricket decided to begin including Muve with all of its rate plans. Bill Ingram, EVP of Strategy for Cricket owner Leap Wireless, said that Muve has helped attract more customers to Cricket's service. Leap spokesperson Greg Lund also told The Wall Street Journal that users of the service typically have a lower deactivation rate.
The popularity of services like Muve Music, Spotify and Rdio have been growing lately as more consumers opt to pay a monthly fee for a subscription rather than straight-up purchasing single songs or entire albums from iTunes or Amazon. Subscription services allow users to pay a flat rate to enjoy as much music as they'd like, which could be more economical for heavy music listeners than actually buying all of the tunes that they want. The rising adoption of subscription services could make licensing Muve Music an attractive proposition for carriers, especially since they'd be able to brand and sell it however they'd like. How many of you have ever used Muve Music?