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Spotify vs. Limited Data Plans

SPOTIFY’S DATA DILEMMA: Will Spotify’s U.S. launch (see related story) be hindered by the disappearance of unlimited mobile data plans? Effective today, new Verizon customers must select from four tiered data plans for their smartphones or tablets, starting at $10 per month for a measly 75MB of data or $30 per month for 2GB. Does this new wrinkle present a challenge to Spotify's adoption? Mobile users consume a wide variety of data from sending photos via e-mail and MMS to streaming videos and movies. One 30-minute TV show streamed from Netflix uses more data than Verizon’s entry-level plan. A two-hour movie can use over 500MB, or 25% of the $30 plan. An over-the-air album purchase from iTunes can exceed 100MB. Will consumers adopt a streaming service that may eat into already stingy mobile offerings? Of course, Wi-Fi access does not count against over-the-air usage. AT&T eliminated unlimited data plans for new customers a year ago. Both companies have provisions that will grandfather in existing customers. But the question remains, will U.S. consumers pay hefty sums for larger data plans AND a premium streaming service? (7/7p)

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