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Rdio Brings 500 Live Radio Stations To Its Music Streaming App In The US

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Apple Music may have gotten to a rough start, but Beats 1 is surely a hit. And more music streaming services are now integrating similar services within their apps. The latest to join ranks, is the U.S.-based music streaming app, Rdio.

Rdio has come up with a unique offering by bringing as many as 500 traditional radio stations to its app. However, a rather interesting offering which comes along, specially for paid subscribers ($4 a month capped at 25 songs) is the facility to even download tracks for offline listening, which have already been played on the station, hence essentially bridging a gap between radio service and music subscription apps.

And even though Beats 1 allows a similar functionality, Rdio has an upper hand due to the sheer number of radio stations it is offering to listeners. And more number of stations translates to hell lot of more content.

Free users on the other hand, get access to all features like marking a song as favorite, adding it to playlist, sharing with friends and even starting their own customized radio station. But they won’t be able to download tracks for offline listening.

All the radio stations are owned by Cumulus Media Inc which bought 13% stake in Rdio in 2013 and which has seen limited inovolvement in Rdio, to using the music streaming service as an advertising platform and Rdio in turn helping it for devising digital strategy.

With Cumulus stations such as LA’s 95.5 KLOS, Nashville’s 95.5 NASH Icon, New York’s NASH FM 94.7, and San Francisco’s KFOG now being available within the Rdio app, Rdio is looking forward to build a strong user base due to a certain novelty in its offering.

We think we’re providing a great experience to people who love radio, which is almost everyone.

said Rdio CEO Anthony Bay adding that  “no one has done what we’re trying to do”, i.e, connecting a live radio service to music subscription service.

Although traditional radio station apps come loaded with lot of advertisements, something which may not be so appealing to Apple Beats1 listeners, but given the fact that Rdio offers a much more variety of stations, it would be imprudent to underestimate Rdio.

The app will also telecast sports broadcasts through local stations and Westwood One and the company said that they plan to “enhance” its sports content in the future by introducing round-the-clock stations covering specific events, such as the Kentucky Derby. This may specially attract users who would like to listen to their home radio channels when they are out of town.

Rdio said that they plan to roll out this feature to their markets outside US as well in coming months and will also tie up with more radio channels to be played on Rdio in future.

Rdio was launched in 2010 by Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis but has never been able to rise above its competitions from established giants such as Spotify and the newer but stronger entrants such as Apple Music.

By combining radio within its music streaming app and offering diverse choices and options to its listeners, it can certainly attract some users initially but only time will tell how beneficial it would be for it in the long term given the cut throat competition in the music streaming industry.

Rdio launched its services in India earlier this year, but hasn’t really seen much of  a traction when compared with more established players like Saavn and Gaana.


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