Rdio has added free ad-supported web listening in the United States.
According to the company, the advertising will include “new Rdio feature announcements, messages from partner brands, and notifications about exclusive content,” amongst other messages. Of course, that’s the problem with ‘ad-supported’: it typically doesn’t support much.
Rdio also offers ad-free mobile radio stations, part of a steady march towards free. With these combined freebies, Rdio is bound to gain new users, but will probably lose paying subscribers in the process. That may also be a problem for Spotify, which just eliminated all time restrictions on free listening, worldwide.
Then again, Spotify may not care, especially as it looks forward to a Twitter-style IPO event. Which means that strategically, Rdio may have little choice but to finance free listening, even if it drives the company into the toilet.
The Rdio Unlimited option is $9.99 a month, and includes ad-free, full access on the desktop, mobile, iPad, Sonos, and Roku.