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A shampoo tycoon is offering cellphone service with built-in music streaming


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John Paul DeJoria has a knack for business success in areas as diverse as haircare products and tequila, and he's now ready to dip his toes into yet another industry: cellphone service. The magnate (along with ROK Entertainment's Johnathan Kendrick) is about to launch ROK Mobile, a US wireless carrier with music as its hook. Paying $50 per month will get you both all-unlimited phone service as well as 'free' streaming from a catalog of 20 million songs, saving you a lot of cash if you tend to splurge on music providers like Rdio or Spotify. DeJoria sees this as doing Americans a favor -- he tells Forbes that it could save the country billions by lowering the costs of both cellular access and music in one fell swoop.

Is that hyperbolic? Absolutely. Still, ROK Mobile could be compelling even if you're not an avid listener. Everything will be contract-free, and it's launching with service that piggybacks on both T-Mobile's network (as of June 16th) and Sprint's (July 4th). There's no guarantees that DeJoria's effort will fare any better than Solavei, Ting and other virtual operators that are stuck with small customer bases. However, this is potentially a disruptive strategy -- much like Free's service in France, it could raise the competitive bar and force carriers to offer you a better deal.

[Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night]

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