[UPDATE 2] Rdio has launched a free music streaming in the U.S., Canada and Australia today. Called Stations, the free streams will be based on the user's favorite genres, artists, songs and albums. The ad free streams will be available on iOS and Android. A web version will include ads sold by new Rdio partner Cumulus Media.
The Echo Nest is powering the personanilzation of Rdio's Stations. They're also working with Rdio to ensure that all the new free stations are DMCA-compliant, allowing the music streamer to pay the same royalty rates as pure-play webcasters.
Details plus full text of the official announcement:
The free service, first reported by the Associated Press, is designed to keep Rdio competitive with Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody, iTunes Radio and others. The music streamer also hopes that users will upgrade to a $10 per month subscription.
"We don’t need you to subscribe right away," says Chris Becherer, VP For Product told The Verge. "You can live inside Stations for a long time. We think that over time, you’ll start building up your collection, building up your favorites. And whenever you do subscribe, all that stuff is ready to go."
Here is the full text of the official announcement:
One of Rdio’s most popular features is now free forever on IOS and Android
Now anyone can stream hundreds of personalized stations that draw from over 20 million tracks
SAN FRANCISCO – October 3, 2013 – Rdio, the groundbreaking digital music service that has reinvented the way people discover, play, and share music, today announced that its new, highly personalized streaming stations are now free on mobile to all iOS and Android users.
Starting today, stations are free for all users — even those whose subscriptions or trials have ended. Any user is now invited to listen to all of Rdio’s stations — drawing from over 20 million songs — at no cost through the Rdio mobile app, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Launched in August, Rdio’s new and improved stations are a culmination of Rdio’s focus on beautiful design and usability. Stations are also smarter and custom-tailored to users, creating an effortless listening experience that highlights the best of Rdio. Everyone can now listen to all of the artist, song, and 400 genre stations available on Rdio as well as You FM and Friend FM — personalized stations inspired by an Rdio user’s taste in music and likes on Facebook. Since launching in August, nearly 2.3 million stations have been created.
In addition, Rdio also announced two new features for stations:
- Station sharing. Think your You FM is proof positive of your superior music taste? Now you can share it — and any song, artist, genre, or other type of station — on Facebook, Twitter, or with any friend on Rdio.
- Playlist and album stations. Creating an endless stream of your favorite (or soon to be favorite) songs keeps getting easier. With the introduction of playlist stations and album stations, Rdio has more station types than any other music service in the market.
"Station plays are up over 50 percent since our launch in August,” said Drew Larner, Rdio’s chief executive officer. “We're excited to make one of our most popular features available to everyone for free, forever."
Non-stop listening for free on Rdio’s stations is available on Rdio for iOS and Android in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Visit the Apple App Store and Google Play to download the Rdio app today.
Rdio is the groundbreaking digital music service that is reinventing the way people discover, play, and share music. Play what you want, when you want, or turn on a station for a perfect mix of songs. Listen anywhere — the web, your phone, even offline — and follow friends and artists to see what they’re playing.
Launched in August 2010, Rdio is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded by Janus Friis, the co-creator of Skype, and is currently available in 31 countries. For more information and to sign up, visit www.rdio.com.