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October 15, 2015

Considering Apple Music or Spotify? Why Bother?

By Gerald Baldino, Digital Content Editor

Picture this: You’re out for a run and two tracks deep into your favorite hip hop playlist on Spotify’s (News - Alert) free service. Just as you hit your stride, an advertisement interrupts the stream of music. So you slow down to push buttons and skip through the commercial, and realize you can’t.

In light of this poor experience, you’re about one or two advertisements away from forking over $10 per month and upgrading to Spotify’s premium music service, where you can access a complete catalogue of music on demand without any interruptions.

Is this the right decision to make?

The truth is that you should think outside the box and consider all of your options before you make your purchase.

Here’s why:

Right now, Spotify has you right where it wants you. That’s because the business model the company—along with other providers like Pandora (News - Alert)—uses works just like a spider web. In other words, these companies attract music listeners with “freemium” music services that offer a limited amount of listening options and lure them into paying for unlimited access to on-demand content.

Spend just a few minutes on either service’s free platform, for instance, and you’ll see how frustrating the user experience is—and how tempting it is to want to upgrade.

Despite the temptation that many people face to upgrade, it’s actually a failing business model; and consumers don’t appear to be embracing it. A recent study from MusicWatch, for instance, shows that less than 10 percent of the general U.S. population currently pays for on-demand music content.

So, where is the music industry headed? The future of streaming music appears to lie in bundling, as industry disruptor ROK Mobile— a provider of music and mobile services— is proving. In fact, ROK’s unique streaming music service, if it catches on, could be a death knell for similar paid services.

Consider this: When you sign up for ROK Mobile’s monthly mobile phone service, you get free access to the company’s comprehensive, ad-free streaming music platform with over 20 million songs.

On top of that, you will get unlimited talk and text, as well as 5 GB of data. What’s more, there are no contracts or activation fees to worry about. And get this: You can pay for ROK Mobile’s bundled service in cash if you sign up at a retail store. You don’t need to use a credit card to receive service. Right now, ROK Mobile is aggressively rolling out across the U.S. and is reported to be in about 10,000 stores by the end of the year.

The real kicker is that the whole package—meaning a month of phone service, data and unlimited streaming music— costs just $50.

It’s a big difference, in other words, from paying close to $100 or more for monthly mobile service alone, and an extra fee for a premium Spotify or Pandora subscription which can cost you over $100 per year.

Perhaps the best part, it should be noted, is that ROK Mobile is rumored to actually use Verizon’s (News - Alert) own network infrastructure. What this means is that ROK customers use the same towers as Verizon customers do, only they pay less money on a monthly basis.

So if you’re looking to break away from the traditional streaming music business model, and find a more cost-efficient mobile phone service, consider killing two birds with one stone and look into a bundle offering from ROK mobile. It’s an amazing opportunity, as it can save you money while still outfitting you with the premium music and mobile services you want.

By the way since the average music spend per person is less than $50 a year on music listening these days, bundling may just be the future of streaming music.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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