updated 07:00 pm EST, Tue February 28, 2012
No subscription service has yet made profits
Fighting both increased competition and increasing reluctance by major artists to get involved with subscription services, MOG has contacted interested companies about a potential sale, reports CNet. The company, which has been providing both free and subscription-based music streaming since 2005, may also be in financial trouble, having failed to ever turn a profit and, like all other subscription-based music services, report any significant revenue.
California-based MOG competes against services like the newer Spotify and the older Rhapsody, the latter of which recently absorbed the last of Napster's subscribers. It offers a limited amount of streamed listening on web players or computer for free, and offers two levels of subscription: unlimited play and no ads on computer, web, Roku or select LG devices for $5 per month, or all that plus mobile and Sonos streaming for $10 per month. The free streaming and Mac-native clients only arrived in September in response to Spotify's similar moves.
MOG offers higher-than-usual streaming quality (320kbps) and a catalog of over 11 million songs, along with a music discovery engine that many reviewers rated as superior to Pandora Radio's similar feature. Primo subscribers could even download stations for offline listening. A MOG spokesperson would not comment on allegations that the company was for sale, saying only that "we're constantly speaking with companies and looking for the best opportunity for our business and our shareholders."
A number of name-brand artists and groups have clashed with the various subscription services, which include sites like Spotify and Rdio, saying that none of them have paid out any substantive money in royalties to artists or record companies. Labels have expressed a willingness to be more patient with the services, waiting for them to grow a substantial audience before demanding payments, but have had to deal with artists that resist or refuse to allow their music on the subscription services. [via CNet]