There is no doubt about it, the war for online music streaming space is on and its about to get nasty. Prior to today, the competing companies, Spotify, Rdio, WiMP were only getting ready for battle. Counting troops, building war machines and marking territory.
Today, Rdio announced that they have launched free web music streaming in 15 countries, including pretty much every country in the ArcticStartup region with the exception of Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland. Now this is not a big news per say, as we have already covered the fact that they have silently launched first in Denmark and then in other Nordic countries.
Spotify may have a leg up in the Nordics, but they must realize that users will happily leave if a competitor comes along with a service that brings their favorite movies, TV shows, and music under one roof. It appears Rdio and Vdio might be joining forces, but Spotify is also churning up rumors that it is partnering with HBO Nordics.
Even though Rdio was founded by the Swedish and Danish Skype co-founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis in 2010, by focusing on the U.S. market they still haven't made the same cultural dent in the Nordics like Spotify has. Still, they offer solid competition through a browser-based music streaming service (much like what Spotify is rumored to be working on).
It's expansion season for seemingly every music streaming service from the Nordics and beyond. With Spotify's rapid grabbing of market share, competing services are differentiating themselves and aiming to get an early hold on users in countries where Spotify has yet to launch. What's remarkable is how many of these services are coming out of Scandinavian and Baltic entrepreneurs. Here's the rundown of the major players' growth plans:
Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis (The Estonian and Danish founders of Skype) recently announced they have plans to take Rdio to the whole of europe in the coming months, potentially hitting countries in which Spotify has yet to launch. PaidContent says that Rdio recently added Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Australia and New Zealand to its U.S. and Canada availability as well as quietly soft-launching access in Denmark.
Rdio, the online music straming company founded by the former Skype founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, has announced that they will be releasing a set of APIs to developers, according to ReadWriteWeb. This comes as an attempt to try and go around Apple's counter announcement of them charging 30% of new subscribers that will come through their iPhone apps, a move which has been widely criticized for "killing the online music business". Margins are very low and online streaming services such as Rdio (and Spotify for that matter) are scrambling to find new ways to keep the business model afloat.
Rdio, an on-demand music streaming service from the Skype founders, took one more important step in the race for the hearts, minds and wallets of music-lovers. We wrote previously about the impressive team behind the start-up and their close ties to the four major music labels. On top of that influential human capital, this week Rdio added some monetary capital to advance their business - they closed a $17.5M funding round from new and existing investors. The money will go towards spreading the service to new platforms and new regions as well as for further R&D. How significant is this investment for the company and its competitors?
Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström recently created Rdio (pronounced ar-dee-oh) - an unlimited, on-demand social music service in US and Canada. The service is very similar to Spotify, though there is no way to use it for free (apart from a short trial period). Rdio offers a vast music library (> 7 million songs) from all major labels (EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group) as well as top indie labels and distributors. It's got social features akin to Twitter: users can see what is currently popular among other users and create and listen to collaborative playlists. The company promises to 'take the work out of deciding what to play next'. All that for $9.99 a month for unlimited web and mobile access (including the offline mode) and $4.99 a month for Web-only access. Rings a bell?