Telstra officially launches Mog

By Damian Francis | 21 June 2012

Telstra has officially launched its streaming music service, Mog, in Australia. It follows in the footsteps of services such as Spotify, JB Hi-Fi Now and Rdio already available in Australia.

Unlike Spotify, Telstra's Mog offering won't be allowing free access backed by advertising. It will instead play to its strengths as an internet service provider (ISP) by allowing Telstra BigPond customers to use Mog unmetered.

The subscription service provides access to a library of around 16 million songs and will cost $6.99 for desktop/web access or $11.99 for the addition of mobile access per month. The pricing is in line with what Spotify charges.

In April, AdNews reported that Telstra’s executive director of media, applications and user experience, JB Rousselot, believed the days of storing CDs on your computer or loading playlists to your mobile devices were over, with streaming music services set to take over.

“The number of subscribers to mobile music streaming services is expected to approach 161 million worldwide by 2016 and Australians will become a part of the music revolution with this deal," he said at the time.

It's an opinion echoed by EMI's executive vice-president of marketing, Bart Cools. He also believes this increased competition is a good thing despite the relatively small population of Australia. “With good streaming services in Australia we are now one step closer to the perfect system. Yes, Australia is a smaller market, but it's still important. The competition is good, the more players the better. Any additional challengers that work, we will happily deal with.”

Telstra already knows Mog works overseas. The system was founded by David Hyman, former chief executive of Gracenote (the software which automatically found track names for CDs you imported to your computer) in 2005. Based in California, it has raised over $US24 million in capital and includes original features such as the Mog Music Network, a music blog that includes original content by in-house editors and aggregate content from outside sources.

In Australia, the success of Mog is still questionable. “Mog's performance in Australia will largely depend on the depths of Telstra's marketing pockets,” said technology expert Nick Broughall. “The music streaming market has exploded in the last 12 months, and for better or worse, Spotify has the bulk of consumer's mindshare, largely due to the free, ad-supported option it offers. Mog is priced well, but it will need some significant pushing from BigPond to make real inroads."

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