Rdio is a year-old entrant into the online music streaming marketplace, offering a Spotify-like experience that allows listeners to choose the exact artist, albums and songs they want to hear. Founded by the creators of Skype, Rdio previously had been a subscription-only service with only a seven-day free trial period. On Thursday the company announced a free plan that differentiates itself from competitors like Spotify and Pandora by being ad-free.
A graphical indicator at the top of the page shows how much free listening time you have left. However, the indicator does not display the actual number of minutes or songs, but rather leaves the listener to guess how much time the green bar is equivalent to.
Unlimited Rdio listening from a computer or browser is priced the same as Spotify at $4.99 a month, while $9.99 a month extends unlimited listening to mobile and media player devices on both services. By comparison Pandora is $36 a year for unlimited listening, but does not offer the on-demand selection of songs and artists that Rdio and Spotify do.
It’s a crowded market for online streaming music services. And although Rdio has been available in the US for longer than Spotify, the latter service has been available elsewhere for longer and received much more publicity when it hit the American shores.
I just signed up for the free Rdio subscription, so I’ll be posting a review of it soon.