Rdio COO Believes “Sense of Community” Will Differentiate Their Music Service From Rivals

image from cdn.venturebeat.com This is part two of my interview with Carter Adamson, who is the COO of RDIO. In this segment, Adamson talks about the challenges of raising awareness for a music service and keeping fans actively engaged.

Hypebot: What elements have you considered adding to RDIO – not now, but down the road?

Carter Adamson: Rdio will continue to be very aggressive in 2011, launching new geographies, adding support for more platforms and devices. In addition, we will continue to add more music from more publishers, labels, and artists.

Hypebot: When services have the same catalogs, how do you differentiate?

Carter Adamson: One of the great things about music is how it brings people together. This sense of community is one of the things we've built Rdio around, and it is one of the things that will continue to differentiate Rdio from other music services.

Once people have access to everything, you then need to give them a way to make sense of it all. So being able to accurately filter new music for people is critical. And the most powerful way to do this is through people you trust.

Just as with the Web, people often "follow" other people because they are experts in a particular area (e.g., humorists, political pundits, sports commentators, etc.). We are doing the same with music.

On Rdio, you "follow" people (regardless of whether you know them personally) because they have similar tastes in music to you. You let them take all of the work out of what to listen to next.

Hypebot: Are enhanced recommendation engines essential to helping fans navigate RDIO?

Carter Adamson: Recommendation engines are helpful. The recommendations of people you trust are even more helpful, and empowering community is a key reason we've created Rdio and a key part of where our business will go in the future.

Hypebot: How can video game elements be used to strengthen user engagement in RDIO?

Carter Adamson: We think that there is a lot that the digital music industry can learn in terms of on boarding to subscription services from the video game industry. Video games have and continue to lead the way on next-generation content subscription models.

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  1. When services have the same catalog, how do they differentiate? They don’t although Mr Adamson will spin it as though they have a compelling propostion that others don’t.
    I don’t buy this “social connection” attribute (if you can call it that). Spotify, We7, Mog, Thumbplay etc all offer some kind of networking features very similar to RDIO.
    But these features aren’t individualistic enough to be considered USP’s.
    Ultimately it’ll be price that seperates these businesses and only one or two will come put winners.

  2. I really enjoy Rdio, and I realize all of these streaming sites have some kind of social element, but I think Rdio is doing the best job with it so far. I’m excited for what comes in 2011!

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