Cricket Wireless customers have been jamming to tunes from its own Muve Music since its debut in 2011. Starting later this year, the service will shut down for good to make way for a new offering from Deezer, which acquired Muve’s assets from Cricket (and from AT&T by extension) last year for $100 million.
Muve subscriber data, like playlists and songs, will be gradually migrated to Deezer in the coming weeks. Subscriptions start at $6 per month, but existing Muve customers are eligible for a 45-day trial period, and if they choose to migrate to Cricket’s new GSM-based network, it can be extended up to two additional months.
The move marks Paris-based Deezer’s first major foray into the US market. It entered last September, but faces stiff competition from established competitors, among them Spotify and Google Play Music. The partnership with Cricket is an opportunity for the stream service to boost its paying subscribers, which number around 6 million.
It remains to be seen how many former Muve customers will move happily to the new offering. The improvement in experience that Deezer represents, however, may tempt more than a few to subscribe.
Muve cost slightly more, for one; Cricket customers paid $45 per month for a plan with unlimited talk, text, web, and music, but can opt for the cheapest plan ($35 a month) and pay for Deezer separately. Muve was also limited to Android devices, and didn’t offer true streaming; users could only download and play back songs.
“We knew that customers were wanting more from music providers and more from wireless providers,” Jake Mullins, vice president of Cricket’s channel operations, told us. Deezer’s library of more than 35 million songs, he asserted, was a great value proposition. “This is going to be a really hot offer for our customers,” he said.
Muve ceases operations on February 7.