MOG, an up-and-coming streaming music service, has just launched its own editorial hub called the MOG Music Network. This online news source goes hand-in-hand with its music listening service, the latter which is available both online and as mobile applications for the iPhone and Android.
The MOG Music Network (MMN) includes music-related news from the company's network of 1,200 music blogs plus in-house news, reviews another other features. According to MOG, its network of blogs now generates more than 20 million monthly unique visitors and its goal is to become the largest music network online.
MOG, the App
You may know of MOG only as one of the many new "cloud"-based streaming services which are poised to overtake iTunes as the preferred way to listen to music while mobile. For low monthly fees - $10/mo. for MOG or its competitors Rdio and Rhapsody, and only $3 for the questionably legal (and now disappeared) Grooveshark - you can stream unlimited tracks to your mobile handset. No longer is disk space a concern and you have access to the majority of new releases too, as well as older albums, thanks to online catalogs of tunes numbering in the millions, regardless of which service you pick.
While the merits of each service are varied, MOG is clearly hoping to differentiate itself by being known not just as an app, but as a brand associated with music content. In fact, music related content came first in its case, not the apps.
MOG, the Network
Originally, www.mog.com was a network of music blogs on the Web prior to its launch of the music-streaming service in December 2009.
Now the MOG Music Network will serve as a digest of this content, at a separate URL from MOG.com: MOGMusicNetwork.com. In addition to the news, reviews and interviews you would expect, MMN will also deliver exclusive MP3s, explains a company blog post.
However, in checking out one of these exclusive tracks here, it didn't appear there was an easy way to download the tune - it was accessible for playing online only via a Flash-based widget. We couldn't find it in MOG's streaming service, either. Instead, the track just served as a teaser for an upcoming album, and the only way to hear it was on MMN. For dedicated music fans, that level of access may be a big selling point for the new online portal.
It may be a key selling point for advertisers, too. MOG CEO David Hyman told MediaWeek that the site aims to serve as a central hub for advertisers. "Think of this as like Glam.com is to the Glam Network," he said, referring to the women's content portal which uses the same model. Monetizing digital music has been a difficult business so far, but Hyman believes his advantage is that he's monetizing content, not the streaming itself. "This is a real network of readers," he said, "not just listeners."