It’s all but confirmed that mobile phone company HTC will purchase on-demand streaming service MOG via their Beats Electronics high end headphone brand. Which is a very interesting play for the folks at MOG. That service, while interesting, might have been dismissed not very long ago as one that was getting sidelined by other on-demand services like Spotify and even long timer Rhapsody, which recently reinvigorated itself with the purchase of the legal remainder of Napster.
Following in the footsteps of the mobile phone/streaming service pairing between Muve and Cricket, this deal looks like a good one for MOG, which was founded by David Hyman in 2005 and had raised $33 million. MOG reportedly has about half a million users.
HTC, the fifth largest smartphone maker in the world, took a controlling stake in Beats last year. That company is tied in tightly with Universal Music, the largest of the big record labels, which adds yet another interesting twist to this deal.
So MOG, or whatever it becomes, will become an on-demand music source built into a large number of smartphones. Sure – those folks can still subscribe to Spotify or Rhapsody, but if HTC comes with a free service that offers the same thing why would they?
RAIN Summit West 2011, the largest gathering of Internet radio people and information, will take place on Monday April 11th at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas. This will be the 9th annual event, each year it gets bigger and better, growing in scope and size along with the marketplace. (As a disclaimer I’ll tell you that I’m very involved in organizing it.)
One of the scheduled panels will be a discussion of the future of music, featuring some really smart entrepreneurs in the streaming music space. Michael Robertson, Founder of MP3Tunes is one of streaming music’s true pioneers, having founded MP3.com and sold it to Universal/Vivendi will be on that panel. He will be joined by David Hyman, Founder of on-demand subscription streaming service MOG. Hyman’s past lives include CEO of Gracenote. Eric Johnson is the COO of Wolfgang’s Vault, one of my favorite online streaming places. Ari Shohat‘s Digitally Imported is one of the most listened to online stations, and he’s a sharp entrepreneur as well. The panel will be moderated by TAG Strategic’s Ted Cohen, a past record company executive and well known digital music consultant.
Need more reasons to attend? You can review the full agenda here. To save 20% on standard registration, go here and use the code AUDIO4CAST20. If you’re a broadcaster or webcaster, you don’t even need to use that discount, there’s a special rate of $79 for you. Including lunch and cocktails!
RAIN Summit West is a really great opportunity to meet people, get information and expand your expertise. See you there!
On-demand subscription music service MOG has joined the parade of online music platforms that are announcing partnerships with device and automotive manufacturers. Today MOG announced partnerships with LG for televisions and Sonos for home stereo systems. The New York Times reports they are also about to become part of BMW’s Mini lineup, alongside Pandora and others.
MOG will be pre-installed on the devices, and require a subscription. MOG is a subscription based on demand – or cloud – service that enables listening from various mobile devices.
MOG’s Founder and CEO is David Hyman, who will be appearing at RAIN Summit West on April 11th during NAB Show Week in Las Vegas. He’s not shy about his ambitions. “The car is the holy grail,” Mr. Hyman told the NY Times. “I look at the satellite-radio market in America, with 20 million subscribers, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t be 20 million subscribers.”
Pandora is already in a lot of cars, with deals for Ford, Toyota, Mini, and other automotive manufacturers in place. But MOG’s service gives listeners access to a different kind of listening – to songs on demand. Similar to cloud based music streaming services Rhapsody, rdio, and Spotify (which is not yet in the US), MOG is the first of this type of service to announce a deal to get into the dashboard of a major car manufacturer.
But not the last..
Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes of recent news of music services like Imeem (sold for pennies), Spiralfrog (shutdown) and Spotify (US launch delayed), this week MOG, a music blogging platform, launched All Access, a new, ambitious on-demand service that is, well, pretty cool.
MOG All Access is right upfront about their business model – it costs 5 bucks a month – and they’re very direct about how great the service is too. The homepage says the music service is “Better than Rhapsody, Pandora and iTunes Combined.” Others agree – out of the box it’s getting some great reviews.
MOG All Access says it offers just about every album and song you can imagine – and indeed, I plugged in a bunch of stuff and they had most of it. Curiously, they don’t have Belle & Sebastian or Pousette Dart, a couple of offbeat names I plug in when I’m testing the depth of a service. (Spotify had both, Pandora and Google Music only had Belle & Sebastian). MOG did have Armin Van Buuren, I’m From Barcelona, Donna the Buffalo and other sort of obscure musicians.
The other thing that they have are deals with all four big record labels, as well as many others. In fact, their recent press release included enthusiastic quotes from the big four.
MOG All Access is the only online service that will let you plug in the name of an artist, like James Brown, the example on the video on their site, and then listen to all James Brown music. Other online services won’t give you more than 3 songs by an artist, thanks to performance copyright issues, but obviously, MOG obtained permission in their licensing deals to offer this.
While you’re listening to James Brown you can view all his songs and lyrics, save songs to your locker, build playlists and share them with friends, buy music, or just listen to his complete collection, James Brown Radio. While you’re listening to that, you can decide you want to discover or hear some similar sounding stuff and turn on the music discovery tool.
MOG All Access Founder David Hyman says that although they are offering an easy way for listeners to purchase music, they’re really betting that “consumption in the cloud is the future.” So you store your music in your locker, and listen on whatever connected device is handy – mobile, pc, whatever.
MOG’s got a great platform and it appears that the record companies have given the service not only their blessing but also a unique offering to listeners by enabling them to offer unlimited on-demand access to any music they want. At five bucks a month, they’ll have to get a lot of subscribers to make it work. As I have said about new services before: May they thrive…