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BigPond Music to close, MOG to remain for "foreseeable future"

Telstra has announced the closure of its MP3 download service, BigPond Music, capping off what has been a tumultuous year for its other digital music property, MOG.

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BigPond Music is set to shut up shop. BigPond Music

BigPond Music customers will soon lose access to their online accounts with news that the service will be closing on December 12, 2014.

In an "Important Notice" posted on the BPM website, customers have been advised that they will no longer be able to purchase songs from December 11 (11:59 AEDT) and they will no longer be able to access their online account from December 12 (11:59 AEDT).

Customers can still log in and download their previous purchases up until this time, and vouchers will still be redeemable until the end of December 11. You'll also be able to request a voucher refund, with more information on this process available at the BPM website (though BPM advises that refunds may take up to 30 working days to come through).

Telstra announced the news on its Facebook page and Twitter feed, saying it was with a "heavy heart" that the service would end. A spokesperson later warned on the Facebook page that "aggressive" posts on the page about the closure of BPM would be deleted.

Despite the BPM closure, the spokesperson told Facebook customers that music would still be a "major component" of the Telstra offering.

"The download-to-own music market has changed a lot," the spokesperson said. "We believe the best way for us to continue to provide great music services to our customers is via a partner model. Music is and will still be a major component of the premium content Telstra provides to thousands of Australians every day. We will provide our customers more information on our plans in due course."

This spokesperson also advised that Telstra's music streaming service MOG would "remain as is for the forseeable future".

BPM and MOG

BigPond Music and MOG have been closely aligned in Australia since Telstra introduced the US-based MOG to its customers (under the BigPond Music umbrella) in mid-2012. However, there have been doubts about MOG's future in the local market after the US division of the brand changed hands a number of times (moving to Beats Electronics, which was later acquired by Apple) and finally closed for good this year.

However, the Australian iteration of MOG was given a reprieve, with Telstra advising its customers that there were no immediate plans to shutter the service locally.

"When the timing is right we will be in contact with our MOG subscribers about our plans to ensure a smooth transition on to the Beats Music service," a Telstra spokersperson said in January.

However, Telstra also confirmed in January that Beats Music would be launching locally this year, indicating that, as BigPond Music shuts up shop, MOG's days in Australia could also be numbered.

CNET has sought comment from Telstra.

Update, 11:45 a.m. AEDT: Telstra has reiterated that MOG will "continue to work as normal" and that it has no "further details to share at this stage" on the local rollout of Beats Music in Australia.

Regarding tracks downloaded through BPM, Telstra also confirmed that customers would retain their downloads:

As long as customers download their purchased tracks by Dec 12, the files are then theirs as BPM is a purchase-to-own service. If they have existing credit and fail to use it, or fail to download their purchased tracks by Dec 12, they will not be able to use it.