Rdio Becomes the First Global Streaming Company to Enter India…

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Why is everyone so scared of India?

Well, one reason is the massive piracy rate that riddles the music industry in India, not to mention persistent poverty that renders half the population unable to purchase anything.  And the other half that does have the money is typically reluctant to spend it, thanks to a culture that favors fiscal responsibility over American-style consumerism.

On top of that, you have the recurring headache of label licensing, which contributed to the failure of India-focused streaming startup Dhingana (the service shut down in February of last year).

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Enter the brave soul of Rdio, which is now the first global streaming company to set foot into the 1.2 billion-strong nation.  Rdio purchased Dhingana after its meltdown, and offers a cure for the company’s crippling licensing issues.  Rdio, which has stumbled in critical markets like the US, has a 32 million-strong catalog and deals with all major labels.

Rdio doesn’t offer a free tier, a fiscally-sound approach that unfortunately doesn’t cut it against heavy-spenders like Spotify.  But Spotify hasn’t launched in India, which could give Rdio some wiggle-room.  The company is planning a free streaming radio tier, and an affordably-priced monthly premium cost of 120 Rupies (roughly $2).

Rdio is offering a blend of Indian and international music, as well as Bollywood soundtracks.  Paying subscribers can listen to whatever they want on any device, and download songs for offline, cached listening.


Top image by Ramón Sitomon, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).  Middle image supplied by Rdio.  Written while listening to Schumann.

9 Responses

  1. Rahman

    This is great, but when is Rdio going to say how many subscribers it has?

    • Ted

      Who cares? Like their product, brand and ambition or like one of the others.

      Buyers never cared whether Tower Records sold more CD’s than some other store, did they?

      • Adam

        But they did care when they couldn’t sell any more CDs and went bankrupt.

  2. Anonymous

    its also pretty much the first one ive seen to really ramp up the network commercials, so they are making a push for sure…

  3. Stanislas Hintzy

    Nope, Paul : Nokia Music / MixRadio was the first global service to enter India.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I guess if you want to consider the Nokia Music initiative ‘streaming’

  4. Saavn

    I’d say Saavn was 2nd probably, but definitely way before Rdio

    • Amyt

      Saavn has almost no international content. Right now only Rdio and Guvera have a decent catalog of international music. Gaana, and Saavn catalog are very very limited

  5. Srivas R

    Rdio has an excellent catalogue of English as well as regional albums, but I wish Spotify would come out soon. I subbed to Rdio in the meantime, means I don’t have to download music illegally anymore. People don’t understand that Indians have no other way to listen to music other than downloading torrents or going out to a CD store and paying $10 for each album. (Which you’d probably listen to 2 times and throw away). A streaming service would reduce piracy in India, in my opinion.