Integrated services matter.
So right now I’m considering dropping my long time subscription from MOG in favor of Spotify. MOG was recently acquired by Beats Audio, which is mostly owned by HTC. This has nothing to do with my temptation of leaving MOG, rather I hope that Beats and HTC turn MOG around by doing something MOG has failed horribly at, producing an API.
On paper, MOG at its base has a better music service than Spotify has. MOG has a more customizable radio service, it is available platforms where Spotify isn’t, such as the popular Roku player or GoogleTV, and it even has an HTML5 based music player which makes the service available on non-client owned devices like say a work or public computer. MOG, like its competitors Spotify and Rdio, have facebook music integration and last.fm scrobbling, yet MOG has failed in currying favor with other services.
Perhaps the most damning advancement Spotify has made against MOG is the creation of its new HTML5 app sandbox. This has allowed services like Last.FM, The Guardian, Pitchfork, NPR, and various label centric apps such as Warner Music and Def Jam to serve content to listeners using the Spotify library. There are already novel third party experiences on the platform such as MoodAgent, ShareMyPlaylists, and Soundrop which trounce the radio and playlists experiences that MOG is able to provide.
Spotify has also managed to produce elements such as embedded widgets, which at the moment act as glorified links, but still a nicer experience, and thus more likely to be used by a music blog rather than MOG’s equivalent.
Ultimately, MOG’s problem boils down to that it isn’t very social. I am one of two people in my social circle who uses MOG. In comparison, 48 of my Facebook friends are Spotify users, most frequent users. Spotify isn’t afraid of integrating itself into 3rd party sites and applications, where as MOG hasn’t treaded in this direction. MOG may be better at creating radio algorithms than Spotify or Rdio, but none of that matters when anyone can write a new radio algorithm for Spotify and publish it as an app for the Spotify player. If Beats is serious about its MOG acquisition, then it has a lot that it needs to learn from Spotify. MOG can be the best streaming service on the market, but to do so it needs to open up.