T-Mobile announced its Music Freedom program Wednesday, which will allow users to stream music from a variety of different services without counting against their data caps.
According to The New York Times, T-Mobile subscribers will enjoy unlimited access to Pandora, Spotify, Slacker Radio, Rhapsody and iTunes Radio. T-Mobile will also be working with Rhapsody to introduce its own streaming service, UnRadio.
Unlike most similar services, UnRadio will be completely ad-free and will give users the ability to skip as many songs as they want. The service is free to T-Mobile subscribers with an unlimited data plan and four dollars per month for all other customers. (RELATED: Amazon Introduces Prime Music)
While many consumers are celebrating the announcement, net neutrality advocates fear that this may set a harmful precedent. As The Verge notes, T-Mobile is making the decision that some content should count toward the data cap while other content should not, a practice that could potentially use data cap exemptions to punish or extort content providers.
However, T-Mobile has made it clear that, because content providers are not being charged for the exemption, the Music Freedom program is not a problem and does not necessitate heavier regulation.
“Our regulatory position is that we don’t think this industry needs to be regulated with such a heavy hand,” Andrew Sherrard, T-Mobile’s senior vice president of marketing, said.