We know why the wireless carriers are doing anything they can to get people to listen to music on their phones. And we’re all for it. But AT&T’s (T) latest music offering won’t help.
Starting today, AT&T will offer a new app to some of its subscribers called mSpot Remix, which lets you download music you already own onto your phone from your home computer. It works over the air, so you can listen to tunes without having to go home to sync your phone up to your PC.
Sounds neat. The problem: AT&T is charging $10 a month for the service, whether you use it once or the 75 times a month that the subscription would allow. That’s $120 a year! And it only works on three AT&T phones, Samsung’s SYNC and A737, and LG’s Shine. And you have to install mSpot’s software on your computer. And it doesn’t work with a Mac.
What would be better? Something similar that’s free — built into your monthly mobile Web subscription — and works directly with Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes. That might convince more people to sign up for mobile data plans — a key source of revenue growth for AT&T as people spend less money on phone calls. That could also get more people listening to music on their phones — only 7% of U.S. mobile subscribers do right now, according to research firm M:Metrics. But whatever AT&T is pushing today won’t help.