Monday, September 15, 2014

Rdio Goes Free

Rdio image
With Spotify, Pandora, Apple and Google threatening to run away with the streaming music market, some of the smaller services have been forced to make changes in order to keep up. Rdio, which was created by the makers of Skype four years ago, announced recently that it would change from an all-subscription model to a freemium model in order to entice more customers to give the service a try.

No one knows for sure how many users Rdio actually has, but the service is currently available in 60 countries and it's generally admired for its clean design. Its new freemium service will be available in 20 countries to start, and gradually roll out to the others over time.

One of the more interesting things about Rdio is that it's now partially owned by Cumulus Media, which operates 460 radio stations in 89 markets. Advertising for the new Rdio free service will be handled by the Cumulus sales staff, and the service may be allowed to use some of the Cumulus programming in the future.

Rdio's freemium service allows a new user to try the various stations available for free, and for the $9.95 Unlimited package provides additional playlists and add-free playback. With so much music now available for free online, it's no longer possible to be a pay-only service and attract new customers, and Rdio saw the writing on wall that it must be either free (at least partially) or die.

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