MOG (online music)
|Platforms||Web; iPhone/iPod Touch, Android, Roku, Boxee Box|
|Format||320/256 kbit/s MP3 web streams and high-quality mobile downloads, 48 kbit/s AAC+ mobile streams|
|Catalogue||15 million+ songs|
|Availability||United States, Australia|
MOG was a paid subscription online music service and blog network, where subscribers can listen to and read about music. Subscribers can play the tracks that are available in the catalog on a variety of digital devices, including computers, handheld devices, Sonos system and television. The company claims that its catalog contains 16 million tracks, although it is not clear how such count was produced or audited. MOG also allows users to access aggregated editorial content from music blogs, user posts, and in-house editors. MOG is still available in Australia, as The Beats Music Service has not yet been launched in the country.
MOG was founded by David Hyman, former CEO of Gracenote, former SVP of Marketing at MTV Interactive, and former Director of Ad Sales for Addicted to Noise. MOG is a privately held company headquartered in Berkeley, CA. The company has raised $24.9 million in capital from a variety of sources, including Balderton Capital, Menlo Ventures, Simon Equity, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music. Music producer Rick Rubin is a member of MOG's board of directors.
After purchasing MOG in 2012, Beats Electronics in January 2014 announced that the MOG service would be shut down in the United States on 15 April 2014; this date was first indefinitely postponed but then it was shut down on May 31st, 2014. Its successor system, The Beats Music service, launched in the United States on 21 January 2014.
Founded in June 2005, MOG began as a music-themed social network and blog network. Users could create profiles with information about their music tastes, and the now-discontinued MOG-O-MATIC client application assisted in the process by scanning users' music libraries and populating their profiles with information about their music collection and listening activities. MOG would also recommend users with similar music tastes, and users were able to compose blog posts, read posts composed by other users, and listen to 30-second samples of songs.
In December 2009, MOG launched its own subscription music service, which allows subscribers to stream any song in MOG's catalog on-demand to their computer through their web browser. In July 2010, MOG released mobile applications for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android phones, allowing subscribers to also access MOG's catalog from these devices. In September 2010, MOG announced the release of a Roku channel, which enables subscribers to access the service from their television.
In April 2012, MOG announced a partnership with Telstra to bring MOG to Australia, the first region outside of the US to have access. Telstra and MOG launched under the BigPond Music branding on 21 June 2012. This partnership also allows Telstra customers to stream without the content counting towards their data quota.
In July 2012, it was officially confirmed that Beats would acquire MOG's music streaming service for $14 million. Beats' goal with the acquisition is to leverage its library of high quality music to produce a "truly end-to-end music experience". The acquisition did not include MOG's advertising network, the MOG Music Network, which was sold in a separate deal on 24 August 2012 to the radio broadcasting and media company Townsquare Media.
In January 2014, it was announced that MOG would be discontinued on 15 April 2014 in favor of Beats Music, and that existing subscribers would receive refunds. The shutdown was ultimately delayed to 31 May 2014; former MOG subscribers were offered a free, 60-day trial of The Beats Music service.
MOG continues to operate in Australia, offered through Telstra's BigPond Music (BPM) service, despite being discontinued in other regions. Content is still updated, though the app appears to no longer be receiving updates, with the last update to the iOS app occurring on 14 October 2013.
MOG is a subscription service that allows users to play tracks from its catalog on a variety of digital devices, including computers, handheld devices, Sonos system and television (through MOG's Roku channel). The company claims that its catalog contains 16 million tracks. Subscribers can play songs available in MOG catalog on a computer through a web browser; on mobile devices through MOG applications for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android; via the Logitech Squeezebox and Sonos systems, and on television through MOG channel on the Roku Digital Video Player, Boxee Box. Users can stream songs from the catalog via the internet and also store such songs on their devices, so that they can be played later without internet connection. In terms of audio quality, web streams were 320kbit/s MP3 files and mobile streams were 48 kbit/s AAC+ files. Users choose whether mobile downloads are 'high-quality' 320kbit/s MP3 files or 48 kbit/s AAC+ files.
MOG Radio, accessible through any of the platforms mentioned above, generates a continuous play queue based on the artist chosen by the user. By adjusting a slider within the MOG player (pictured at right) between Artist Only and Similar Artists, the user determines whether the radio plays only songs by the selected artist, or whether and how often songs by what the application determines to be "similar artists" are added to the queue. When the user's song selection ends, MOG Radio begins to play and continues until the user makes another selection.
The MOG Music Network was a music blog network that aggregated original content (written by in-house editors) and syndicated content from over 1,300 affiliate blogs. Affiliates sign up in order to reach MOG's sizable base of visitors (38 million monthly unique visitors in the US, as of April 2011), who click through from blog post excerpts on MOG to read the full post on the affiliate site.
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