Up until now, Rdio‘s was going after users with promises of free music streaming with monthly caps. But after initial free trials, Rdio may have shot themselves in the foot by sending emails promising more free music over the next few months. Sometimes, the next set of free streams didn’t even work.
Huh? It was a confusing mess, and maybe one of the reasons why Rdio’s subscriber numbers have been so low compared to say… Spotify.
Rdio may have found a trick to better engagement. Today, the service announced free mobile Rdio stations for iOS and Android in the US, Canada, and Australia. These stations are free “forever” — even for non-paying customers.
The stations are also ad-free, which gives them an edge over the free versions of Pandora, iTunes Radio, and Spotify. One of the only other services to offer ad-free mobile radio is Nokia Music, which allows downloading of stations for offline listening (but the catch is it’s only on Nokia Lumia phones.)
Users can listen to Rdio stations based on the usual artist, song, or genre selectors. However, the main attraction will probably be the addition of stations You FM and Friend FM, which personalize stations based on users’ listening habits and likes.
Word on the street is that Rdio is starting to get some traction. One partner pointed to subscribers passing the 200,000-mark, which could be the start of something (especially since they are paying). Maybe this will help Rdio keep the momentum.