Jay-Z bought music streaming service just in time for T-Mobile deal

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Steve Dent
March 24th, 2015

It looks like Jay-Z didn't just buy Spotify rival Tidal for the lulz, as the high-quality streaming service is now available with T-Mobile's Music Freedom. As a refresher, that package lets Uncarrier customers listen to all the streaming music they want without cutting into their data caps (you still have to pay the monthly streaming fees from Spotify et al, of course). The only catch is that it's limited to T-Mo-approved services, though it does include the most popular ones like Spotify, Google Play, iTunes Radio and Pandora. Fortunately for Jay-Z, he concluded the $56 million deal to buy Tidal just a couple of weeks ago; and with the T-Mobile deal in place, there's now a strong incentive for a lot more folks to try it.

The deal also gives T-Mobile access to a streaming service that's a cut above Spotify and Pandora in quality, albeit it at double the price for users. The idea of T-Mobile's Music Freedom plan is thorny in the net neutrality age, however. In fact, we noted at the time that it specifically disadvantaged Tidal, since T-Mo customers would probably avoid a service that cuts into their data plans. The new deal solves that problem for Tidal, but what about other companies not onboard? The lawsuits and challenges to the FCC rules are just starting, and we imagine that T-Mobile's rule-skirting service will come up more than once.
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