Rdio was the first service to launch in Australia late in 2011 and rumors of a Spotify launch have abounded for almost a year. Looks like MOG beat Spotify to the launch stakes and with Australia best Telco to boot. This is most definitely a major strike for MOG and its team as it is also for Telstra.
TMV have known that all key streaming services, Rdio, Spotify, We7 and MOG had been in discussions with Australian Telco Telstra for quite a while. What is key in terms of this deal is that Telstra is the only Telco in Australia that delivers decent national network coverage. Vodafail are absolutely appalling and Optus is only slightly better.
How do TMV know this? Quite simply I was on Vodafail for 12 months when I first moved back here – and that experience leads me to state that the network coverage was so bad that Vodafone’s right to sell mobile coverage to consumers in Australia should be revoked. I’m currently with Optus and will be moving over to Telstra when this contract is up in December later this year.
This signifies to TMV that MOG are going to be the only streaming service that delivers a consistent user experience in terms of mobile. Yes, its exclusive to Telstra subscribers and yes TMV have lamented exclusive Telco tie-ups in the past. However, in respect of the Australian market as it is a vast country it is critical that whichever Telco a streaming music service ties up with can deliver coverage. We have no doubt that this will ensure user experience for MOG subscribers across mobile usage will be second to none in Australia.
Drew Denbo, Senior Vice President of Business Development, stated to TMV that MOG “are thrilled to broaden our reach and expand to Australia via our exclusive partnership with Telstra. MOG’s best of breed listening and discovery service coupled with Telstra’s market leading broadband and mobile networks will be a winning combination for the fertile Australian digital music market. The partnership is particularly compelling for Telstra broadband and mobile customers who will have the benefit of streaming and downloading unlimited music with no added data cost.”
To top it of Telstra has the most mobile and broadband subscribers in the Australian market. This will no doubt help to drive MOG subscriptions in the Australian market. We would recommend TMV’s in-depth site review of the MOG music service to get a dynamic understanding of the service and its feature-set.
The critical element to this deal is that subscribers will not be caught by bill shock as the deal means unmetered access to streaming the MOG service to consumers phones. This in itself is what TMV would term a major set-back for Spotify in this territory as even if Spotify does launch with Vodafail or Optus neither delivers what one could even call a half decent service. In fact, they provide what could only be described as sub-standard network coverage levels.
A spokesperson stated to TMV that Telstra “looked at many potential partners worldwide and feel in love with MOGs easy to use interface and high-quality audio streaming”. The spokesperson then went onto note that “MOG makes it so easy to find the music you love and more importantly fall in love with new music every time you fire it up. Their personalized approach to music recommendations is the digital equivalent of walking into the old record store where the guy behind the counter knows your tastes and suggests a few new albums to you.”
From the aforementioned Telstra statement, it is clear that MOG’s personalized approach to music recommendation played a key part in the Telstra’s decision to work with MOG over other global streaming services.
If Spotify were to launch with Optus or Vodafail it would be a major setback to its brand in Australia. Interestingly the only friends I have spoken to in Australia that had even heard of Spotify outside of the music industry here were English expats. So, some serious marketing is most definitely required if Spotify want to build brand awareness and build a subscriber base in this country. It now looks like Spotify will be the last of the international music streaming services to enter the Australian market – being last to market is in itself a setback in TMV’s view.
On a final note, TMV are excited by MOG’s partnership with Telstra and we look forward to them gaining significant market share in the Australian marketplace. I cannot wait when my Optus contract finishes so I can use MOG on Telstra.