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Muve profiled in NYT

MUVE-IN’ ON UP: Upstart streaming service Muve Music has quietly built one of the largest subscriber bases in the business by going after a part of the market that most digital companies have largely ignored—people who may not have computers at all—the N.Y. Times notes. Muve, a phone-based plan sold through Cricket Wireless, offers unlimited song downloads for $10 a month, tucked inconspicuously into a customer’s monthly cellphone bill. Since its introduction in January 2011, Muve has signed up 600k users, putting it in the league of Rhapsody, which has about 1 million subscribers, and Spotify, which hasn’t revealed how many of its 4 million paying are in the U.S. Today, Cricket, which has 6 million subscribers, will introduce of a line of Android phones for $50 to $70 a month. These plans automatically include Muve. As part of the company’s licensing deals with the labels, a portion of the $10 monthly fee is earmarked for royalties, and divided among the record companies according to each label’s share of downloads. Neither Cricket nor the labels would say exactly how much of that $10 goes to royalties, but estimates range from $3 to $5. “Exploring these new opportunities and new methods of consumption is the one thing that’s enabling the music industry to weather the storm of piracy,” said UMG digital guru Rob Wells. (8/29a)

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