Major US wireless carrier Sprint has struck a music streaming partnership with Napster (formerly known as Rhapsody). The partnership, however, does not mean that subscribers of the fourth biggest mobile operator in America will be able to enjoy exclusive access to delicious Napster deals or even get to preinstall the official Napster mobile app on their handsets. But it does combine billing unto the customer’s smartphone plan.
It is safe to say that it is Napster who gets to benefit the most out of its collaboration with Sprint. It is no secret that Napster has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to better compete with rival music streaming giants such as Spotify or Apple Music. By partnering with one of the Big Four wireless carriers in the United States, Napster should get access to the Sprint’s 60 million strong customer base.
As for Sprint, it should be able to take home some advantages, but nothing really mind blowing in the long run. Some may remember that the wireless carrier had also struck a partnership with Spotify more than a couple of years ago. Spotify is considered the service provider to beat when it comes to music streaming. Less than two months ago, the company revealed that it had already accumulated some 40 million paying subscribers. Needless to say, Napster still has a long way to go before it can reach that mark. Last December, the company (then still known as Rhapsody) said that it had 3.5 million paying customers. And although Spotify has partnered with Sprint, it does not depend too much on striking deals with wireless carriers. Instead, it makes clever use of its free listening option to entice new sign ups.
With its Sprint partnership, Napster also gets to offer a one month free trial to mobile users, which is the same offer it serves to any first timer availing of Napster. After the month long free trial is over, however, customers will be charged the usual rate of $9.99 a month by way of Sprint’s bills. As mentioned earlier, the Napster mobile app will not be preinstalled in Sprint devices, but both companies do get to promote each other’s services to their respective target audiences. Moreover, Sprint’s prepaid arms -- Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile -- have added Napster to their data free list, which means that users get to stream all the Napster tunes they can without ever having to worry about their data allotments being affected.
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