Last Friday, Maxis sent a text message to all MaxisONE subscribers, indicating that its promotion of free Spotify Premium subscriptions will end on 23 October 2016. Within hours, screenshots of the text message appeared online from Maxis customers, angry that the promotion is ending on such a short notice.
However, that isn’t the full story. Maxis is indeed terminating the offer for Spotify Premium for its postpaid subscribers, but the text message was sent to inform subscribers that Maxis is actually extending the promotion for free Spotify Premium – albeit only for another 3 weeks or so.
The free Spotify Premium subscription for Maxis postpaid customers is part of the #MusicNow campaign that was announced back in April 2015. Postpaid customers on plans with more than 1GB of data a month were eligible for a free subscription to Spotify Premium with 15GB data allocation exclusively for use in Spotify.
At the time, Maxis also mentioned that the offer will end on 30 September 2016, upon which customers who sign up for Spotify Premium via Maxis will revert to the free basic option on Spotify. Should they choose to continue on Premium, customers will pay the standard monthly fee of RM14.90.
Given that the campaign ran for over a year, it is perhaps unsurprising that some customers have forgotten about the T&C for the campaign.
That said, the text message also served to inform customers that while the promotion will end, Maxis will be offering 3GB of data exclusively for streaming on Spotify. This is separate from the 5GB of data for video streaming on selected partners, such as iflix. The product page for Maxis’ Spotify value-added service has also been updated to include an “End of Promotion” FAQ.
The removal of a popular value-added service will naturally result in a negative response. Digi faced a similar backlash last year when the telco ended its free Deezer Premium+ subscriptions to its postpaid customers. However, the new postpaid plans by Digi feature limited-time to unlimited subscriptions to its Digi Music Freedom service, which pools music streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify for free.
Maxis’ other competitor, Celcom, has its own Yonder Music app offered for free to its customers, though U Mobile does not have any music streaming service offered as a value-added feature. It does, however, have the Video Onz video streaming service that offers exceptional value due to its wide range of partners – though you can only stream in SD.
Nevertheless, the termination of Spotify Premium does leave a rather sizeable hole in the MaxisONE value-added feature set. Given that its immediate competitors both have dedicated music streaming services, we sure hope Maxis has more interesting propositions up its sleeve.