Rdio, one of the leading streaming music services, is said to be hunting for a new chief executive as Google and Apple ramp up competitive efforts. Drew Larner, Rdio's CEO, told Bloomberg in an interview that he'll be stepping down and has begun looking for his replacement. Once found, Larner said he hopes the new CEO will push the company to combine its music streaming efforts, and its newer video stream service, Vdio, into a single subscription package. That combined offering could position Rdio to more directly compete with several major content providers.
"Momentum from last year has been tremendous," Larner told Bloomberg. "The best person to take this to the next level, it's probably someone with a different skill set." The CEO, who has held the post since the company was founded in 2008, said that his strengths are in running a business and striking deals. "The next stage of the company is about building an enormous user and subscription base, and there are people out there better at that than I am," he said. The company has grown its user base 800% since the end of 2012, thanks to a widespread online and offline advertising campaign, Bloomberg said. After he's out as CEO, Larner will remain with Rdio, serving as its executive chairman.
The news of Larner's eventual departure comes just after Google launched its Play Music All Access streaming service. Apple is widely expected to launch its iRadio music service next week at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, while direct competitors Spotify and Pandora dominate in the streaming music space. Both Apple and Google offer streaming video services as well.