HTC's Beats Electronics acquires streaming music service MOG

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HTC's Beats Electronics unit has acquired digital music service MOG. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MOG founder and CEO David Hyman confirmed the purchase in an email to USA Today, stating the addition of the service to the Beats portfolio will provide a "truly end-to-end music experience" but declining to offer specific examples of the types of products and services in the pipeline. MOG currently offers streaming access to more than 15 million songs, giving users their choice among free, ad-supported desktop services, ad-free desktop listening priced at $4.99 per month, and ad-free mobile and desktop access for $9.99. The mobile service is available across devices running Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

MOG offers free and ad-free steaming to the desktop and mobile devices.

Rumors of the acquisition first surfaced in March, with multiple outlets reporting HTC and Beats were sizing up MOG to create an all-you-can-eat mobile music service available across HTC devices and Beats headphones. GigaOM previously reported HTC is building its own streaming media platform to differentiate its Android smartphones and tablets from rival devices, while at the same time threatening the dominance of digital media upstarts like Spotify.

In August 2011, HTC purchased a $300 million, 51 percent majority stake in Beats Electronics, founded by producer/Interscope-Geffen-A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop icon Dr. Dre. At that time, HTC Peter Chou told reporters "I think this partnership is really built on the core belief that amazing audio is a key to the mobile experience. HTC is always looking for opportunities to differentiate and create emotional experiences with consumers. We think that this a very good opportunity for HTC to continue to differentiate in the market."

Beats President and COO Luke Wood told USA Today that MOG's commitment to audio fidelity gives the company an edge over rival streaming services. "They were the first service to offer their entire catalog in the 320-kilobit format. I also think they were the most progressive and the first service to be really committed to multiple access points in the deals they did with LG and Samsung for the TV and BMW for the car [and] they were very quick to push music to the smartphone. They understand that the consumer wants ubiquity."

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will launch HTC's Android-powered Droid Incredible 4G LTE device on July 5. The smartphone includes Beats Audio auto-tuning technology designed to improve digital music playback as well as audio integrated in mobile video content and games. The Droid Incredible 4G LTE is priced at $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.

For more:
- read this USA Today article

Related articles:
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Rumor Mill: HTC developing streaming music service
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HTC buys $300M stake in Dr. Dre's Beats to upgrade mobile audio

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