Leap Wireless music service hits 100K customers

Leap's Muve Music reaches a milestone, surpassing 100,000 customers and 100 million song downloads in five months.

Leap Wireless apparently has a hit on its hands with its fledgling Muve Music service.

Samsung Suede with MuveMusic
The Samsung Suede comes with access to the Muve Music service Josh Miller/CNET

The company, which sells prepaid wireless service under the Cricket brand, said its music download service has surpassed 100,000 customers and 100 million song downloads after five months.

Muve's milestone is a positive for a company that has been attempting to catch up with the smartphone and 4G craze. The company has hoped that Muve, which is a music download and rental service, would draw in customers as it began rolling out its lineup of smartphones.

In comparison, Apple's iTunes took 15 months to reach a similar number of song downloads, though the service is exponentially larger now. Muve and iTunes stand as rare examples of music services that have the music industry's blessing and are working at a time when piracy continues to be rampant.

Of course, a major difference between two is that people must pay for individual songs on iTunes. By contrast, Muve's unlimited music downloads are bundled with a $55-a-month plan that also includes unlimited talk, text messages, Internet access, and e-mail.

Leap also has a much smaller base of customers to draw from than does Apple. At the end of the first quarter, Leap had 5.8 million customers.

Leap said that its Muve customers spend two to three hours a day listening to music and that more than half of Muve's customers are new to the Cricket wireless service. Customers, on average, are downloading 400 songs per month.