MetroPCS taps Rhapsody to deliver Music for All unlimited service

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MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) and on-demand digital music service Rhapsody are jointly introducing Music for All, an unlimited, ad-free service optimized for Android handsets and bundled into the prepaid operator's $60 monthly rate plan, which also offers unlimited talk, text and web access alongside other applications and services including MetroNavigator, Pocket Express and Visual Voice Mail Plus.

Music for All touts access to more than 12 million songs; MetroPCS customers can play, download and stream as many songs or full-length albums as they wish, with no per-track charges. Users may also create and sync playlists on their smartphones and PCs, share them with friends via Facebook and Twitter and access original Rhapsody editorial content to help discover new artists and keep up on existing favorites. To access Music for All, MetroPCS customers must download the Rhapsody app from the @metro App store or Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android Market.

MetroPCS serves 9.08 million customers nationwide as of the second quarter of 2011, up 19 percent year-over-year. During the carrier's quarterly earnings call earlier this month, MetroPCS COO Tom Keys said 38 percent of all handsets the company sold in the quarter were Android devices, adding that 25 percent of the company's subscriber base now owns a smartphone.

Music for All follows six months after rival prepaid carrier Cricket Communications launched its all-you-can-eat Muve Music service, which the company touted as the first unlimited digital music service bundled with a new wireless rate plan. Cricket offers the service as part of its $55 flat-rate monthly service package, which includes unlimited nationwide calling as well as unlimited messaging, mobile web access, data backup and video.

In early July, Cricket reported that more than 100,000 customers have already signed up for Muve Music. The average Muve user spends between two and three hours each day listening to music on their phone and downloads 400 songs per month. Muve customers have downloaded more than 100 million songs in all and played back more than 100 million songs in the month of May alone. Cricket adds that 99 percent of Muve users download and play songs each month and more than two-thirds have at least one active ringtone or ringback set in the service.

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