Despite their seeming inevitability, music streaming services are finding it hard to cope until the users, the web and the music industry catch up. In fact, even the best known Spotify isn't exactly killing it, it's getting by thanks to its investors’ deep pockets, not the profitability of the business.
What's more, the competition for the rather small pie is actually quite fierce in the US and in most of the big markets. Spotify is fighting it out with MOG and Rdio, but is also competing with older or slightly different products like Pandora or Rhapsody.
It's no surprise then that the smaller players are struggling. Well, the struggle is over for at least one of them, MOG is getting acquired by Beats Electronics, the high-end headphone maker.
HTC owns a majority stake in Beats so the rumors of HTC being interested in MOG
were true. There are few details other than the deal is getting done.
There's no price on it, but MOG probably didn't fetch much. A music streaming service is mostly valued by its licensing deals. But most of these deals are not transferable, i.e. you don't buy the deal with the company, you have to negotiate new ones with the labels.
As such, Beats is only getting and only paying for the technology, the brand and, to a degree, for the users. Of which there aren't that many, some figures indicate that there are about half a million MOG users, though most of those may not be paying.
The interesting part is about to come though, it should be fun to watch how Beats and maybe HTC try to work MOG into their products, and the other way around. It could all crash and burn, but it could also work out nicely for everyone involved.