Rdio launches half-price streaming service to fight Spotify and Apple

Music-on-demand service Rdio has turned up the heat in the streaming wars with the announcement of Rdio Select, an AUD$5.99 per month music streaming plan.

Rdio Select offers listeners ad-free streaming radio with unlimited skips, support for mobile devices and high quality 320kbps audio. Subscribers are able to select up to 25 songs to listen to each day on-demand which are available to download and listen to offline.

The plan joins Rdio’s existing packages, Rdio Free, an ad-supported streaming radio plan and Rdio Unlimited, the company’s top-of-the-line package that lets users listen to any album, song or playlist on-demand with no ads or skip limits.

"We remain committed to offering customized streaming options tuned to different listening audiences that includes the free listening experience," said Rdio CEO Anthony Bay. "We believe in a free tier that is fair to artists, labels, and consumers alike."

Until now AUD$11.99 has been a de facto standard in the industry for ad-free, on-demand music streaming, with Spotify, Deezer, Tidal and Xbox Music all offering services at that price.

By limiting users’ unfettered choice to 25 songs a day Rdio hopes to reach the more price sensitive customers in the market. The limited number of songs "allows us to license the product in a way that we can keep the price at USD$4 a month" Bay told BuzzFeed News. He added that 25 songs "is more than most users download in a day so we feel it’s enough".

Tech giant Apple’s own music streaming service is likely to be revealed at the annual World Wide Developers Conference in June, with an expected price of AUD$11.99 and no free tier. The company reportedly wanted to offer its service at a lower price point but backed away from those plans after resistance from record labels.

Rdio Select is available now and can be trialled free for 60 days.

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