Last week MetroPCS stopped bundling Rhapsody’s subscription music service with its new data plans, which we took as a sign that the carrier’s relationship with the content provider was waning. It turns out the MetroPCS and Rhapsody are still chums, but they’re changing their approach of how to sell music to Metro’s subscribers.
Rhapsody will now be available as an a la carte service to any Metro smartphone customer regardless of which plan he or she subscribes to. But Metro customers will pay only $5 a month for unlimited music downloads, compared to the $10 Rhapsody typically charges for a single-device subscription.
Previously, MetroPCS included a Rhapsody subscription in its upper-tier data plans, along with other media services like its MetroStudio streaming portal. But the way the tiers worked, to get the music perk, a customer had to be willing to shell out $60 to $70 a month for 5 GB-or-more plan. When MetroPCS retooled its smartphone plans last month, it dropped prices across the board, but it sacrificed those bundled services in the process.
Now customers can get Rhapsody on a $40/500 MB smartphone plan (bringing the price to $45 a month). It’s important to note though that while song downloads are unlimited on Rhapsody, the bandwidth isn’t on Metro’s lower-tier plans. Rhapsody’s app will store music for offline playback, and you can make hefty use of Wi-Fi to keep your phone’s playlists updated. But if you’re out downloading or streaming music in the wild, Metro will start throttle back your speeds when you exceed your cap.