Two weeks after a major round of layoffs, music streamer Rdio has named Anthony Bay as its new CEO. He succeeds Drew Larner, who will become Vice-Chair of the company's Board of Directors. Bay is a former digital media executive at Amazon, Microsoft and Apple.
Like its competitors, Rdio is struggling to gain traction in an increasingly crowded sector. In addition to established players like Spotify and Rhapsody, Deezer has said it will enter the U.S. market in 2014 along with a soon-to-launch Beats Music and a YouTube subscription music service.
Bay's mandate is growth. "We need to expand our global reach and subscriber base," said Rdio Founder, Janus Friis. "Under Anthony’s leadership, Rdio will focus on building the world’s best free, ad-supported streaming service and dramatically growing our active, paying user base, globally. Anthony will also play a critical role in unlocking the value of our global terrestrial radio partnerships."
Bay's background is varied, a skillset that could be an asset as Rdio restructures. At Amazon, he was head of their global video business, including streaming. As Chairman at Loudeye, Bay concentrated on b2b digital media content before the company was sold to Nokia. At Microsoft, Bay's team was responsible for the ecommerce technology platform and developing Windows Media Technologies, including Windows Media Player. Prior to joining Microsoft, he spent eight years at Apple, three of those in Europe, where his responsibilities included Online Services.
Launched in August 2010, Rdio is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded by Janus Friis, the co-creator of Skype. It is currently available in 31 countries.