HTC and Beats Audio set to acquire music subscription service Mog?

March 20, 2012
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When Jimmy Iovine isn’t busy mentoring American Idol hopefuls, the music mogul, who founded and spearheaded Beats Audio, now partly owned by HTC, is hard at work to expand the company’s reach in the industry. According to reports from Business Insider, Beats Audio  is but a step away from acquiring a lesser known music subscription service known as Mog.

Rumors have actually been circulating for months how Mog was looking for a potential buyer. Mog CEO David Hyman even admitted that the fledgling music subscription service had been in talks with potential buyers, but also categorically denied that the company was for sale. It appears that the stars have aligned between the two companies, as one source confirmed to Business Insider that the deal was already signed last week.

Mog claims that it has a catalog of over 14 million tracks that subscribers can listen to anywhere – computer, iOS and Android devices – once they sign up for the service. Premium users get the unlimited download option to mobile devices, while the basic service is only available for desktop player.

What could Beats Audio, and ultimately HTC, gain from the Mog acquisition? For starters, since its inception in 2009, the service has racked up 500,000 active users. It is unclear, however, how many of those are premium users; or people who pay 10$/month to use the service. Comparing this to Spotify, which has more than 3 million paying members and 10 million active users — it does seem that Beats Audio and Mog have a lot of catching up to do. But any number is a good number rather than starting from scratch.

As part of HTC’s new strategy to put the spotlight on the audio features of their smartphones, the company is looking to introduce a music streaming service to complement the Beats Audio enhancement software. At one point, it was rumored that such service was to be introduced back at Mobile World Congress. This, of course, didn’t come into fruition.

We are curious to see how the deal will pan out and how HTC is going to integrate the service into their new HTC One Series and other devices going forward. While it’d be ideal for the Taiwanese company to run after Spotify instead, the Mog acquisition, if true, is still a step in the right direction.

Is there more room in your smartphone for competing music services? How do you get your music?

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