Will anyone pay $2.50 per over-the-air song from Sprint Nextel?

“Sprint Nextel became the first of the Big Three wireless carriers in the United States to offer over-the-air music downloading, but its initial attempt comes at more than twice the price of an iTunes download and lacks the ease of the iPod,” Red Herring reports. “The Sprint Music Store lets subscribers browse, preview, download, play, and manage their music exclusively from their mobile phones without the need for a PC. That places the Sprint phones in a different category than the groundbreaking Motorola/Cingular ROKR, which requires a PC to download songs.”

Red Herring, “Subscribers will be charged $2.50 per song, but they will get two copies of the song: one version formatted to play on the phone, while the other will be formatted to play on a PC. The PC version can be burned onto a CD using Windows Media Player. The mobile phone version is stored in aacPlus format at a bit rate of 32 kilobits per second (Kbps), while the PC version will be downloaded exclusively in WMA format at a 128Kbps rate. The bit-sampling rate determines the quality of the audio. The 128Kbps rate is usually considered the standard for high-fidelity quality.”

Red Herring reports, “‘People have gotten used to the idea of $0.99-per-song downloads,’ said Peter Gorham, a wireless industry observer. ‘Steve Jobs has created that market, and a lot of people can relate to that price point. People will not be willing to pay double that on a phone when they can wait until they get home to do it for less than half the price… [Also,] I question the ability of the handset manufacturers to do the user interface properly,’ said Mr. Gorham. ‘I have been in the wireless industry for many years and I find it extremely difficult to use many of the advanced features on my phone. These phones will have to come close to matching the simplicity of the iPod to be successful.'”

Full article here.

Advertisement: The New iPod with Video.  The ultimate music + video experience on the go.  From $299.  Free shipping.

Related articles:
Sprint Nextel to launch ‘Sprint Music Store’ with $2.50 per song downloads directly to mobile phones – October 28, 2005


  1. This will be popular with a subset of the population – like the Napster rental concept is – but this won’t be main stream.

    First you have to own a phone that supports it.
    Then you have to even have a digital library to care about.
    Lastly, you have to be so into instant gratification that you are willing to spent two-and-a-half times as much to buy it.

    MDN word: other

  2. Not only $2.50 is high, they give you the music in two rates; one for your computer and one for your phone. So, I guess the phone quality is definitely less than 128 Kbps.

    If that’s the case, the phone sound quality will not be as good as the ROKR. All of a sudden, ROKR looks like a good phone now! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. i use t-mobile. 1500 minutes for 40 per month. you can’t beat that deal. I recommend that you all switch. most importantly, they don’t try to rip me off with bs like watching crappy tv clips on my phone(verizon) or downloading rip-off songs(sprint). I saw on the news today that sprint users will have to pay a monthly fee to be eligible for $2.50 downloads. Otherwise downloading costs $0.02 per kilobyte and could cost upwards of $20 per song. That is a lot of money for one song that you could get for free illegally or for $0.99 from itunes.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.