Why Pay? Rdio Is Now Totally Free on the Web…

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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.

9 Responses

  1. TuneHunter

    Pandora too!
    I never seen any advertisement during my home use.
    Possibly because it is part of Google Chrome and Google is good for modern society.

    • Me

      Really? There are ads all over my screen whenever I open Pandora in Chrome.

      • TuneHunter

        Few times I have seen invitation to upgrade to premium with no interruption to soundtrack.

  2. FarePlay

    The music streaming market place is becoming overcrowded with services that want to give away their service for free.

    And just what is that they are giving away? The earning power of musicians and songwriters.

    Once these services go out of business all that’s left is the artist, whose work has been seriously devalued and used to fuel someone else’s failed fantasy.

    • Joshua Hall


      What do you think about services like radioairplay.com aka – Django radio – where the artists “pay” for “targeted” plays??? That’s another model. Instead of getting payed something for an internet radio listener to hear our music, we could pay to have that listener hear our music. Its all advertising, so do you get paid to advertise your stuff or do you pay to advertise your stuff??


      • Yves Villeneuve

        Are you saying how much payola should decide what gets played on radio versus actual listener tastes?

      • FarePlay

        I haven’t thought about them at all. If airplay led to sales of recorded music then perhaps there would be value. To Yves’ point, what would be the incentive for payola, if Internet radio isn’t for discovery that leads to sales? Sell more t-shirts?

  3. tippysdemise

    Is Rdio paying anything on free streams (like Spotify does)?