MVNO ROK Mobile is launching a service in the U.K. using the Three network. ROK Music combines a mobile service with a premium, ad-free music streaming and downloading service. For £24.99 (US $39.00) on a rolling one-month plan, customers will get unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited music and 4 GB of 4G data, all via a SIM card. The music service, provided at no extra cost, is powered by the ROK Music app, which can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play stores. Customers have access to over 20 million tracks to stream with no limits, plus up to 2,000 tracks to download. ROK Mobile offers a “test drive” SIM for £9.99 (US $15.60), valid for 30 days, which gives customers 250 minutes, 500 texts and 500 MB of data, plus unlimited music streaming for two weeks.
ROK Mobile, which launched in the U.S. last year, has an innovative concept. While most mobile service providers that offer music streaming do so almost as an afterthought, positioning the music as an add-on, ROK treats it as the essential core service. The traditional telecom features of voice, text, and cellular data are offered at competitive rates, so we find that the whole package looks quite attractive to potential subscribers who value musical content particularly highly. Founded by the American hair care products and tequila entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria, ROK distinguishes itself from the competition by offering its own proprietary music library. In the U.K., Vodafone, for example, offers a music service bundled with its plans, but the content comes from Spotify, a partner company. ROK, with low overhead as a SIM-based MVNO, brings its own music to the table. Its ultimate success will depend on whether or not its library has enough listener appeal, but at the outset, the musical emphasis of ROK Mobile’s offering is likely to attract interest, particularly from the younger demographic.