Rdio is introducing a cheaper subscription option called Rdio Select for users who want on-demand music — just not all that much. The new service will be priced at $3.99 a month, including ad-free personalized radio along with 25 songs a day that users can stream, download, and keep (though only 25 can be stored at once). Twenty-five songs "is more than most users download in a day, so we feel it’s enough," CEO Anthony Bay tells BuzzFeed. Rdio Select will also offer 10-song playlists curated by artists including Hot Chip and Best Coast.
Rdio is believed to have far fewer subscribers than Spotify, and its Select service comes at a fraught time for the low end of the music-streaming industry. Spotify offers ad-supported free streaming, which hit controversy when Taylor Swift pulled her catalog from the service in protest. Jay Z later relaunched premium service Tidal amid much fanfare and claims of paying higher royalties to artists. The Verge has reported that Apple is trying to get labels to pull out of free services entirely ahead of its own music service launch.
"We've designed the service to appeal to a wide audience."
"We’re excited to reach a new group of price sensitive music subscribers with Rdio Select and have designed the service to appeal to a wide audience," Bay says in a press release. The question is how many people willing to pay anything at all for music have already got on board with Spotify's $9.99 all-you-can-eat model, which remains very affordable just a decade after everyone was buying $10+ CDs or iTunes albums à la carte. Spotify's desktop and tablet apps also offer free on-demand music for those willing to put up with ads.
Still, if you know what you want but you don't want a lot of it, Rdio Select could be of interest. The service is available today on iOS and Android with a 60-day free trial in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa.