Rdio Exits Beta, Pierces U.S. Market Before Spotify
Rdio, a social music service, has ended its beta, invitation-only period and is now available to anyone. In their current offering, unlimited web streaming costs $4.99 a month and additional Android, iPhone and BlackBerry access is $9.99 a month. This is, as you might imagine, an upsetting development for the crew at Spotify who have been attempting to launch in the U.S. for over a year now. Such a lead gives Rdio the opportunity to establish a foothold in the market, well before Spotify can even make a mark. The social music service is quite unlike Spotify CEO Daniel Ek's vision for a free and paid service, working in tandem with each other; they boast a subcription-only service.
It is also being reported that Rdio has launched without having finalized deals with some of the world's most important indie labels and artists. Though Rdio states that they've signed "partnerships with IODA, IRIS, Finetunes, INgrooves and The Orchard," Merlin, which represents indie labels with 10 percent of U.S. market share, has made it known that Rdio does not have a license for their clients yet.
A move Merlin CEO Charles Caldas deemed "incredibly disappointing."