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i hate to say it, but i told you so…

In December 2011, Eircom MusicHub launched. That same week i blogged about why it would fail. I outlined the reasons why i thought it wouldn’t work and was met with some criticism in the comments… i defended my position in the comments although plenty of people were quick to rubbish my points. Today, Eircom have announced the termination of MusicHub and this day reminds me of a scene from Father Ted

What went wrong?
The short answer is that when it was released, the technology was poor. It was already behind the times. Almost 3 years on and not much had changed. A lack of development & investment killed MusicHub… the moneymen will tell you that it just wasn’t profitable and the demand wasn’t there, the market was too small etc…

I’m gonna stick to the closing paragraph of my original post…

“A massive PR campaign and fancy launch yet if people try to search for anything related to ‘eircom music hub’, they’ll have to ‘work’ to find the official site. This is why eircom need to focus on what they specialise in rather than waste time & money on something that nobody but eircom believes will work.”

I noticed that despite a big PR campaign and plenty of hype around MusicHub, if you Google’d any keywords relating to eircom music hub, the site wouldn’t show up in results. That’s because it wasn’t even indexed by Google.

To me, it’s things like that which are an indication of bigger problems. A lack of attention to detail… a small oversight perhaps to the people working on it, but a big problem for their target market. Lost opportunity… an opportunity I accidentally capitalised on because having blogged about why I thought it would fail, my blog post was top of the pile in Google for searches relating to MusicHub, which lead to some unhappy Eircom people discovering my post and then trying to pour cold water on it.

Eircom’s short description of why they’re closing MusicHub down now is also interesting…

ericom-website

“eircom Group has taken the decision to withdraw our MusicHub service as it is not a core business activity. eircom will continue to focus on delivering superfast next generation technologies to our fixed and mobile customers.”

It’s interesting because that’s almost exactly what i recommended in 2010…

“This is why eircom need to focus on what they specialise in rather than waste time & money on something that nobody but eircom believes will work”

The question is, why couldn’t they see this coming and what made them think MusicHub would outmuscle the competition? Remember, this service was launched the very same day a similar service was shut down in the UK by Sky. Virgin had also pulled out of a deal in the UK to launch a MusicHub-like service. Instead, they partnered with Spotify.

It was always going to me a mammoth task to infiltrate and dominate this space and from Day 1 the writing was on the wall. MusicHub could possibly have saved itself had it introduced features customer demanded but as usual, they were too slow and too reluctant to aggressively investigate & act upon all concerns & suggestions.

In May 2011, a customer asked: “is there an eircom MusicHub mobile app in development?” to which an eircom rep replied: “Yes eircom are currently working on mobile apps for MusicHub. This should be available later this year.”

2 years later, an Eircom rep replied again on the issue “The work on an eircomMusicHub App is still ongoing. eircom are insuring that all the app functionality and network accessibility are up to a complete standard before releasing the app.” It takes almost 3 years to build an app? Gimme a break. Customers aren’t idiots…

eircom

A month after that post in late May, rumours emerged that Eircom was to shut down MusicHub. So my guess is that Eircom knew a long time ago that no further development or investment would be made in MusicHub, yet continued to palm customers off with vague ‘yeah we’re working on it’ responses.

Anyway, the moral of the story is “don’t get involved in things you know nothing about”. There’s a very high chance you’ll end up doing a MusicHub.

Sean MacEntee

Web Developer. Technology Addict. Swimmer. Man Utd Fan. Writer. Designer.