Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

MOG Heads to Australia, With Help From a Telco

Last year, subscription music service MOG got a boost from Facebook. Now it’s hoping for another one, by opening a new territory: The U.S.-based service is announcing plans for an Australian launch.

MOG will open up for business in conjunction with Telstra, an Aussie telco; a partnership will let Telstra subscribers add MOG’s monthly service by checking a box on their billing statement.

These kinds of packages aren’t new, and several services — including Spotify in Sweden, Deezer in France and Rhapsody with Metro PCS in the U.S. — have been able to juice their subscriber numbers using them.

But it’s worth reminding people that the subscription music industry places a whole lot of faith in this model, and that lots of people think the subscription music model won’t really get mass adoption unless big service providers like Comcast and Verizon give it a similar boost.

The problem with that line of thought: Lots of digital media services have been trying to get the Comcasts of the world to add them into their system for a very long time. And with one brief exception — when Comcast and Rhapsody linked up — that hasn’t happened.

Still, they’re all trying quite hard to hammer out new deals.

Speaking of new deals: When is MOG going to close its deals with headphone maker Beats? I wrote about this one three weeks ago, and was told the deal was in progress but not closed. People familiar with the (proposed) transaction tell me that’s still the case. We’ll check back in a few weeks …

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald