Rdio, doing its best not to be forgotten by consumers in the face of competition from Spotify and Apple, has launched a new batch of curated music stations today. The songs you hear have been handpicked by "some of the world's most iconic and prolific record labels and key local influencers."
Rdio has already offered curated stations in the United States, Canada, and UK, but now users can listen in from Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. A major perk of Apple's Beats 1 station is its widespread availability, and this seems to be Rdio's answer to that.
Additionally, more stations are now available for the markets that already had them, and Rdio says they're open to all users — free, select, and unlimited. Some of the "influencer" stations like those from the A.V. Club and Alt Sounds make sense, but others (i.e. Yelp) are pretty baffling. New label-curated stations from Blue Note, Glassnote Records, and XL join existing offerings from Def Jam, Astralwerks, and Warner Music Nashville. Rdio's stations aren't "live," nor do they have big names like Zane Lowe and St. Vincent talking to listeners, but Rdio seems to agree that human taste is noticeably better than playlists assembled solely through algorithm. The only question is whether the company will be able to keep up with its big-name rivals.