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MetroPCS Presses Play on Free Music Streaming

Free music streaming, first introduced by T-Mobile last year, is making its way to discount carriers. MetroPCS, which is owned by T-Mobile, says its subscribers will be able to stream music from more than 30 services without it counting against their monthly data plan.

MetroPCS's Music Unlimited program mirrors the Music Freedom offering that T-Mobile launched in 2014. MetroPCS subscribers with monthly data plans of 3GB or more of LTE data can stream from 33 music services without it draining their monthly data. Services match those supported by T-Mobile, including Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music and others.

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MetroPCS isn't the first discount carrier to allow for unlimited music streaming. In October, Virgin Mobile announced that music streaming would count against the monthly data allotments for its subscribers. Virgin's program is decidedly more limited than what MetroPCS offers, however, as it only covers Pandora, iHeartRadio and Slacker Radio.

In addition to following T-Mobile's lead on music, MetroPCS will also adapt elements of the Binge On video streaming program its parent carrier unveiled last week. You won't be able to stream videos without it counting with your data allotment on MetroPCS as you can now on T-Mobile. But MetroPCS says it will use optimized video streaming so subscribers will consume less data when watching videos, thanks to a program called Data Maximizer.

T-Mobile's Binge On program is limited to 24 video streaming services, but T-Mobile says that optimized streaming will work for all video services on MetroPCS. The company says that subscribers will be able to watch three times as much video using the same amount of data they did previously.

The addition of programs like Music Unlimited and Data Maximizer marks a change of pace for MetroPCS, which up until now has skimped on extras that other carriers offer to attract customers. MetroPCS's previous perks were largely limited to international calling plans you could enable for an additional monthly fee.

MetroPCS also adjusted its data plans, adding an extra 1GB of LTE data to its $40 and $50 monthly offerings. Those plans now offer 3GB and 5GB of data, respectively. Subscribers to MetroPCS's $60-a-month unlimited data plan now get 8GB of mobile hotspot tethering; previously, that amount was capped at 6GB.