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T-Mobile USA loses 492,000 contract customers in Q3

T-Mobile USA has lost close to half a million subscribers during the third quarter, according to the company's earnings statement out this morning (PDF).

The network lost a total of 492,000 postpaid contracts -- the lucrative long-term contracts that that bring in regular income for a cellular network -- during the quarter, causing a drop in its average revenue per user (ARPU) to $42.78, a decline of 7 percent on the same quarter a year ago.

The firm also reported a net 287,000 wholesale customers, including machine-to-machine (M2M) agreements and through its resellers.

However, T-Mobile USA … Read more

Add any podcast to the iOS Podcasts app

The Podcasts app on iOS is a great way to subscribe, listen to, and even watch your favorite podcasts while on the go. The tight integration with iTunes makes it simple to find and subscribe to new podcasts from your iOS device. What if you want to subscribe to a podcast that isn't in iTunes? As Macworld pointed out a while back, you can add non-iTunes podcasts to the app, using a not-so-obvious method.

Before you can add a podcast to the app, you'll need the direct link to the podcast. Sending it to yourself over iMessage or … Read more

Flipboard is more than just a news reader

If you're not familiar with Flipboard, it's a magazine-style news reader that has been wildly popular on iOS for quite some time. What gives it extra cool points is its ability to handle social media. See, Flipboard can integrate your social accounts into its feed, and present tweets or other status updates just as it would news stories or blog posts (complete with images and video thumbnails). Couple this with Flipboard's gorgeous tiled interface, and it's easy to see why the app is such a fan favorite.

With its clean design, vibrant display of photographic tiles, … Read more

Travelzoo's would-be buyers include Google, Amazon

Travelzoo might just be putting itself on the market. This 14-year-old Internet company, which helps travelers find deals on flights, hotels, and vacation packages, has seen a dismal past few months and therefore could be getting ready to sell itself, according to Reuters.

Prospective buyers include Google, Amazon, and online travel Web sites, according to Reuters. These tech companies might want to get their hands on Travelzoo because of its 24 million subscriber-base, its share in the daily deal world, and its advertising-generated revenue stream.

Currently the New York-based company has a market value of $336.1 million and once … Read more

Facebook to launch verified accounts with pseudonyms

In an effort to root out impostors, Facebook will reportedly soon allow celebrities and other public figures to verify their accounts in much the same way that Twitter does.

The social network will begin notifying public figures with many subscribers tomorrow that they can verify their accounts by submitting an image of a government-issued ID, allowing them to display a preferred pseudonym instead of their birth name, according to a TechCrunch report. Facebook will then manually approve the "alternative names" to confirm they are the real stage names or pen names.

Facebook users must be chosen to participate … Read more

Amazon reels in more video streaming content

Path takes a wrong turn, Yahoo's board gets new faces, and Amazon Instant Video adds Viacom content.

Links from Wednesday's episode of Loaded:

Amazon adds Viacom content Path uploads address book Pinterest tracking codes cause stir Yahoo board change-up iPhone drives Sprint growth Google creates its own TED Subscribe:  iTunes (MP3)iTunes (320x180)iTunes (HD)RSS (MP3)RSS (320x180)RSS HD

Rhapsody hits 1 million paid subscribers; prez shaves head

Rhapsody has capped off a big year by going bald.

The streaming-music company announced today that it now has over 1 million paid subscribers. Its growth has pushed the average number of songs played per day to 10 million, the company added.

To celebrate the achievement, Rhapsody President Jon Irwin shaved his head to make good on his promise to employees if the company hit 1 million paid subscribers.

"We've accomplished quite a bit over the past decade, so it's no small statement to say that 2011 was probably our biggest year yet," Irwin said in … Read more

Facebook adds Web site 'Subscribe' button

Facebook has launched a "Subscribe" button for Web sites, allowing site visitors to get updates from journalists and other site contributors in their News Feeds.

The feature, which can be installed on any Web site, is essentially a "Follow" button for Facebook. Previously, users could "Like" or "Recommend" a single posts on sites.

The social plugin, which is already appearing on author pages on the WashingtonPost.com, The Huffington Post, Forbes.com, and Newsweek, offers another way for Web sites to attract and connect with users.

"The Subscribe button for websites … Read more

Spotify paying subscribers jumps to 2.5 million

Spotify now has 2.5 million paying subscribers, the music service said today.

Spotify didn't say in its blog post how the subscribers break down by country, but it appears that its expansion to the U.S. has been a significant factor in its growth. In March, the company hit 1 million paying subscribers before it had launched its service in the U.S. Last month, Reuters reported that Spotify had 250,000 paying subscribers in the U.S.

Spotify currently offers two paid plans. Its "unlimited" option costs customers $4.99 per month to listen to … Read more

For T-Mobile, it only gets worse from here

It's shaping up to be a rough holiday for T-Mobile USA.

The carrier, a unit of Germany's Deutsche Telekom, earlier today reported a slight improvement in its results for the third quarter. That modest uptick was largely due to its uber-aggressive pricing promotions on the prepaid end, as well as an improving lineup of smartphones.

That's the good news. The bad news is that T-Mobile's most valuable customers--the ones willing to sign long-term contracts and pay more each month--are still leaving in droves. And there's no sign that the outmigration will stop in the fourth … Read more