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Telstra announces closure of music-streaming service MOG

Telstra is shuttering its music-streaming service as competition increases in the market with the recent launch of Apple Music.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Telstra will be closing down its music-streaming service MOG, with the unmetered service to exit the market on August 31, 2015, the telco announced on Friday.

"If you have an active MOG subscription, you'll still be able to access it until 31 August 2015, with no charge from 1 August 2015," Telstra said in its FAQ. "After 31 August 2015, your MOG account will no longer be accessible."

Telstra launched MOG just over three years ago, in June 2012. However, only weeks later, the service was acquired by US-based company Beats for $14 million.

At the time, Telstra said the Beats acquisition would provide MOG with "a wealth of talent and experience".

"The Beats acquisition of MOG does not impact any deals Telstra has in place with MOG," Telstra said. "We continue to be the exclusive provider of MOG in this territory and offer all Australians access to this world-class music-streaming service, with the streaming data being unmetered for most Telstra Next G and BigPond broadband customers."

Telstra has not provided a reason for the closure of MOG, but there has been increased competition in the music-streaming market of late.

Apple acquired Beats for $3.2 billion in May 2014. The tech giant subsequently unveiled its own streaming service, Apple Music, at its WWDC conference last month.

"We've had a long relationship with music, and music has had a rich history of change, some of which we've played a part in," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in June.

Apple Music, which combines iTunes Radio with Beats Music, is available not only on Apple devices but also on Android phones and Windows PCs.

Meanwhile, rival telco Vodafone Australia paired up with music-streaming giant Spotify in October last year, and recently attributed its customer growth over the first half of 2015 in part to this service. Vodafone's offer, however, is metered, with data usage coming out of customers' monthly limit.

Telstra has yet to report its first-half 2015 results. However, Telstra, which does not report quarterly results, added 366,000 customers to its mobile network in the last half of 2014, and in February reported total income for the first half of the financial year of AU$1.3 billion, up 1.6 percent year on year, and a net profit after tax increase of 21.7 percent, to AU$2.1 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 0.5 percent, to AU$5.3 billion.

In August last year, Telstra claimed that its MOG, AFL, and NRL apps had a combined 155,000 subscribers.

Telstra did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

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