MOG Puts The Bloom On The Rose; To Be Reborn As “Daisy”

Posted January 10

When it comes to music subscription services serving the U.S., MOG is undoubtedly one of the elders in that space. Now, four years after its initial inception, the site is primed for an injection of youth in the form of a new team, new functionality and a brand new (tentative) name: Daisy.

MOG has gone through a lot of changes since it launched as a music blog network in 2005, the first being becoming a full-fledged music subscription service. The next phase in its genesis? (Aside from myriad UI updates and app launches?) This past summer, MOG was sold to HTC through its Beats Electronics subsidy (makers of the ubiquitous Beats headphones) for a mere $14 million — the low price due likely in part to MOG’s low user numbers. We weren’t sure at the time what would become of MOG, but now it seems as though — in addition to new owners — MOG will be getting a fresh coat of paint.

Thursday, Beats — founded by artist and producer Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine — announced that Topspin CEO Ian Rogers will be joining the team as CEO of a new music service currently called “Daisy.” Rogers will also be in charge of heading up the preexisting MOG. Now, Beats isn’t saying so explicitly, but pundits seem to concur that MOG and “Daisy” are one in the same — IE, Rogers will be taking the technology and licences from MOG and using them to create this new music subscription service iteration. Trent Reznor also recently joined the team as Chief Creative Officer.

“What’s missing from the digital music landscape is a cultural context,” Iovine says in a release. “We need to bring an emotional connection back to the act of music discovery. With Trent and now Ian we have the right team in place to do it.”

MOG, from its earliest days, was all about adding context — via editorial — to music. It remains to be seen what aspects of the service will be retained and/or amplified in this newly flowering iteration, but with plenty of nourishment from the already flourishing Beats, this new incarnation could really grow.

“Daisy” will also work in tandem with Topspin, in some respects. Rogers will remain on the Topspin board of directors, with Beats making an investment in the company in order to “help create meaningful business opportunities for artists inside project ‘Daisy.’”

Despite this smattering of clues, there’s still no word on what Daisy will look like yet. However, according to All Things Digital, we do know that it will be an on-demand subscription service that will cost users around $10 per month (the industry norm). The service will also be its own standalone company — not directly connected to the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line — and will function on iOS and Android devices. So, basically, it’s not Neil Young’s Pono.

Going into 2013, we’ve seen a lot of talk about whether music subscription services can ever be profitable (tipped off, in part, by the introduction of the Internet Radio Fairness Act) — we’ll have to wait and see how this newly revamped offering fares in an already crowded landscape.

Image courtesy of Flickr, tim geers