This past weekend I participated in a technology case competition hosted by MOAEC at Boston University.
It was an interesting experience for me. It was basically a 36 hour competition where the case was given at 8:00am on Saturday and the first round of presentations were at 8:00am on Sunday. My team made it to the finals and therefore presented again at 2:00pm and the final results were given at 4:30pm on Sunday. My team placed third, but that is not what I intend to write about this post. I intend to write a short opinion on MOAEC as a software offering.
MOAEC stands for media organizer and entertainment center. While that makes logical sense to call the software that, it may have been a better marketing move to come with with a more catchy product name. Moving on….
The software offers several cool features, the most impressive of which is the quick generation of dynamic playlists in as few as two clicks. Founder and CEO, Brian Looney, was a Disc Jockey in his former life and he saw a niche for an easy to use media management software. This prompted him to create MOAEC. It looks very similar to the inventory management software my step-dad produces but MOAEC is meant for music.
MOAEC also offers Voice Command control and the ability to reformat to any size screen. These two features have allowed MOAEC to be installed in cars, mostly of celebrities like Ty Law and Marriah Carrie, for mobile entertainment.
That’s all well and good but what about the everyday consumer? The consumer that is not a former or current DJ and is not a celeb who can afford to have a custom dashboard computer installed into their 2002 honda civic. That’s what this case competition was all about and just like in the competition I am going to start off with my conclusion…..It won’t sell. The everyday consumer is not going to see value in this product. That is unless MOAEC offers something substantially better and more convenient than other music players do (iTunes, winamp…..), at a price that is affordable and creates a low barrier to entry.
MOAEC currently allows the user to access their home library on the go, if the user has what MOAEC is calling Master Mo. This has some value to it. The voice commands are cool but not essential. And besides there are other softwares that do both of these things relatively well already.
What my team suggested, at my urging, is that MOAEC partner with Rhapsody in order to bring access to Rhapsody to the mobile community. This would do several things:
1)Allow MOAEC to tap into Rhapsody’s existing subscription paying user base.
2)Dramatically enhance the MOAEC user’s experience by offering a huge library.
3)Drive up Rhapsody subscriptions due to convenience and added MOAEC functionality.
If MOAEC were to charge $5 a month for their software as a service MOAEC also stands to gain tremendous profits. I bet MOAEC could even charge $10-$20 for the mobile application if they gave the PC version away for free.
Now to get to the point of the title of the post. MOAEC is stuck in the middle of two worlds, the everyday consumer who uses iTunes or the equivalent and the professional DJ who uses whatever professionals use. If MOAEC wishes to enter the consumer market, they will need to do something similar to what I have suggested and also update their image. Consumers want stuff that is fun and trendy, not muted and boring.
My team also suggested a facebook app and other such guerrilla marketing techniques.
I wish MOAEC all the luck in the world because it will not be easy to penetrate the iTunes market. I intend to check in on them in a year or so to see how they are doing and if they have taken any of the ideas from the competition to heart.