HTC went on something of a shopping spree in 2011, buying a majority share in Beats Audio and purchasing several smaller companies outright. According to reports from Reuters and other sources, the Taiwanese manufacturer has completed the purchase of the MOG Music service, either absorbing it into Beats Audio, using them as a proxy or simply buying it in partnership. In any case the deal isn’t formalized yet, but reportedly all of the pieces are in place to make it so. IF true (and we see no reason to doubt its veracity) this would give HTC a two-pronged advantage over just about everybody Android manufacturer in the mobile music space.
If you’ve bought an HTC phone in the last six months or so, you’ve probably spotted the MOG logo hanging out in your app drawer. It’s a subscription music service in the style of Spotify, with an emphasis on social sharing of music. Its investors include Universal and Sony, tow of the “big four” American music labels. Their catalog boasts 14 million individual songs, which can be streamed via mobile apps for free or downloaded directly for paying customers. Though smaller than some of its competitors, MOG has been praised as an excellent contender in the subscription area.
MOG is usally compared to Pandora and Spotify, and not without reason. Its web and mobile streaming engines are fairly similar, with MOG having the added advantage of a paid download option. When and if the deal goes through, MOG’s satellite software like the web and iOS player will probably remain intact, though some partnership with Beats on music-specific projects is more than likely.
If HTC were to partner with MOG or buy them outright, odds are pretty good that they’d allow it to continue operating as a separate service, not unlike Beats (which sells its headphone and speaker hardware separately and partners with non-competing companies like HP). Of course they’d look for perks for HTC hardware, probably in the form of free subscriptions to the MOG service, in a manner similar to the extra DropBox storage that HTC users enjoy already. With the tech and investment worlds abuzz about the merger/acquisition/whatever, some clarification from both companies will likely be coming very soon.