Consumers seem reluctant to sign up for online music services that charge subscription fees, yet a music blogging site is hoping to reel in music lovers by offering unlimited access to a catalog of high-fidelity tunes for $5 a month.
Berkeley, Calif.-based Mog, which launched in 2006, said Wednesday that it plans to roll out Mog All Access before Thanksgiving. The new service includes partnerships with the four major music labels _ Universal Music Group, EMI Music, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment _ along with thousands of independent labels.
The catalog will initially include more than 5 million tracks, and the company plans to add millions of additional tracks in the coming months.
Mog isn't necessarily cheaper than similar offerings. Best Buy Inc.-owned Napster, for example, sells a $5-a-month music-streaming pass billed in three-month increments of $15. And since Mog isn't offering users the opportunity to download tracks from its site, you'll have to listen to the music on a computer. The company expects to release an iPhone or BlackBerry application this year, possibly both, that will allow downloads on those devices for an expected $12 to $15 per month.
CEO David Hyman said that one of the main things that sets Mog apart from other offerings is the quality of the audio, which will stream at 256 kilobits per second. This is double the streaming rate for Napster and for RealNetworks Inc.'s Rhapsody and Microsoft Corp.'s Zune Pass subscription music services. It basically means that, as long as you have a good Internet connection, tracks should sound better through Mog.
"It feels like all these songs are local on your hard drive, even though they're coming through the browser," Hyman said.
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