Radio streaming takes a clever new turn

Streaming music company Rdio has launched it’s latest redesign.

The company will now use intelligence gathered from it’s users to select radio stations to play including music preference and past listening habits.

Rdio also launched a free version of its service in 20 countries in an effort to reach a wider audience and outgun rivals Spotify and Deezer.

Chris Becherer, senior vice president of the product, told The Guardian:

“One of the primary goals here is to be more mass-market. A lot of our users are very fanatical and passionate: they love Rdio, love the design and the UI [user interface]. But we need to go wider with our reach, and free is a way to do that.”

Despite the launch of its free service, Rdio will offer users the chance to subscribe to access “on-demand” services to it’s massive catalogue of songs, thought to be up to 30 million.

Becherer said:

“The theme of this update is stations first. We’ve had these stations since last year, but we’re moving them to the forefront of the Rdio experience for the first time now.”

The biggest selling point for the radio industry is that the new service allows users to access both radio stations and songs more cohesively, without having to flick between two services. He told The Guardian:

“We really don’t see the customer experience as being separate. At different points in your listening, you’re going to have an appetite for one or the other. Some times, you just want to ‘turn on the radio’, and other times you want to listen to your favourite band’s new album from start to finish. These are two sides of the same coin, and we don’t think any service out there is doing a good job of pairing those lean-back and lean-forward experiences.”

Rdio is funding its free service through advertising.

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