Sprint came out swinging today with the first over-the-air music service for U.S. cellphones. Sprint partnered with Groove Mobile to offer song previews, browsing and downloading for $2.50 per song. Groove isn't playing with kid gloves either—we received this quote from Adam Sexton, Vice President, Marketing and Product Development for Groove Mobile, just moments after the announcement:
"For mobile music, the Sprint Music Store powered by Groove Mobile succeeds where the iTunes ROKR phone failed... The iTunes ROKR phone also requires a computer, a broadband account, a iTunes subscription and a credit card, BEFORE the songs can be transferred to the phone. Young people - who are the largest demographic for music - want instant access to the hottest new bands. And the Sprint Music Store powered by Groove Mobile delivers."
That's gonna ruin someone's morning in Cupertino. More details after the jump...
Right now, only phones using the Sprint Power Vision Network can use this new service and that includes two new phones, the Sanyo MM-9000 and the Samsung MM-A940 (more on the new phones later).
Sprint has also arrayed a fine collection of music providers for W-O-W. Partners include EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group. And while the fee is too high, you'll get two copies of the song: One for your phone and a higher quality version you can download to your PC. I'm looking forward to seeing this interface, because the song browse and play function could make or break it.