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Come As You Are: An Evolved Rdio for Every Kind of Listener

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By Chris Becherer

A great music service should let you listen any way you want. Sometimes, like when you’re driving or hosting friends, that means “turning on the radio” and letting the service do the work. Other times, you want complete control of what you’re hearing, such as when a new album drops from your favourite band or when a friend shares a song with you that you need to hear, right now.

No streaming music service has successfully combined these listening experiences. Music fans have been forced to go to different services for “lean-back listening” (radio stations) and “on-demand listening” (albums, songs, and playlists). This is an unnecessary hassle, and it cheats you out of having one service really get to know your music taste.

Today, we’re rolling out a significant update on iOS, Android, web, and Roku that for the first time pairs a first-class stations experience with a first-class on-demand experience — along with a suite of new features that seamlessly integrates the two and personalises the entire service around you. It’s an evolved Rdio, tuned to you and your unique way of loving music, and we’re thrilled to finally share it with you.

Free radio, front and centre

Last year, we added the Stations section to Rdio, along with the ability to start a wide variety of endless stations based on artists, songs, albums, playlists, genres — even record labels. We also introduced You FM, a station that takes into account everything we know about you — what you’ve listened to, what you’ve told us you liked, even what you Like on Facebook — to create a truly personalised listening experience. You can listen to your own You FM, or tune into the You FM station of a friend or tastemaker like Famous Magazine or the ARIA Music Awards. You FM quickly became one of our most popular features.

Today, we are doubling down on lean-back listening and moving stations to the forefront of the Rdio experience. After downloading the app and signing up in a few simple steps, new users will immediately start listening to a free radio station based on their favourite artist, with no trials to start or paywalls to navigate. From there, they will have access to all the various station types we offer, each drawing on the 30 million tracks in our catalog. They will also be able to enjoy hundreds of brand new curated stations, handcrafted by our in-house team of experts to fit any mood or activity.

That’s just the start. We’ve re-examined all of Rdio through a stations-first lens. Rather than a single dedicated section, stations now live throughout the app. Whether in Recommendations, Trending (our new section combining Heavy Rotation and Top Charts), or Browse (our new home for expert-curated stations), new users will be looking primarily at stations.

All of this is completely free to users today in 20 countries around the world with plans to roll out to more of Rdio's 60 supported countries in the coming months.

We believe Rdio is now the best free radio experience on the market. But what about Rdio Unlimited subscribers, our most loyal fans? Rdio Unlimited pairs all of these great stations with the ability to play albums, songs and playlists on-demand and offline. One of the central design goals of this update was to maintain a single app with a consistent user experience that scales gracefully across our subscription tiers. Every one of the new features we are introducing today was carefully designed to be flexible enough to benefit all of our listeners, free or paid. The best example of this flexible approach is Home, our new landing page on web and mobile.

Your new Home on Rdio

Home is the feature we are the most excited for you to try out. It’s based on ideas that Head of Design Ryan Sims and a group of designers, engineers, and product managers here have been thinking deeply about for several years. Rdio was founded on the idea of social music discovery — that the best music recommendations come from people you know and tastemakers you trust. Home is the next step in the evolution of that idea. As one beta user told us, “It’s what Rdio always wanted to be.”

Home is an evolving feed of personalised music stories that surfaces the best of Rdio in a single destination. Stories can be based on your own activity, such as “Keep Listening” — where you can quickly get back to music you’ve recently played — and “Similar to…” — which gives recommendations based on your favourite artists. Stories can be based on your friends’ recent activity, or recommendations from our in-house team of music experts, such as “Artist to Watch” — which highlights new and emerging talent on a weekly basis. As you keep using Rdio, the stories you see will become more varied and personalised. There are over 20 different kinds of stories in Home, and we’ll be adding new ones all the time.

One of my favorite stories is “Dig deeper with more by…”. It looks for albums that you haven’t yet played from familiar artists, surfacing deep cuts from our vast catalog of 30 million songs — remixes, b-sides, reisssues, etc. This morning, I discovered three gems from one of my favorite bands, The Flaming Lips, that I hadn’t ever heard — one live album, one soundtrack, and one single with a bunch of amazing b-sides that I never would have found on my own with just a search box.

Home also gives us a vehicle to highlight user-generated contributions to Rdio, like comments and playlists, in a way we couldn’t before. I follow some hardcore music nerds, many of them Rdio employees, and if one of them leaves a gushing comment about a new record, I’ll probably want to give it a listen — as long as I see the comment. Now, that comment will make its way to me right in Home, the most precious real estate in Rdio. Simply put, Home encourages conversation around the music you love.

Home borrows some of the personalisation concepts of You FM and applies them to not just one station, but the entire user experience. As you grow with the service, playing more music and following other listeners, Home will evolve and tailor all of Rdio to you based on how you like to listen. The word we keep using to describe it is “elastic” — whether you are a free stations listener, a hardcore collector of albums, or a playlist creator, Home will stretch and bend toward your tastes, suggesting music you’ll like and have the access to play.

More new ways to organize and discover

Home is just one of many cool new features launching today. Favorites is an expanded, smarter version of your collection — you can now collect any artist, album, song, station, or playlist by tapping the heart icon to favorite it. The more you favorite, the more Rdio gets to know you, surfacing music relevant to you in Home and You FM. With Trending, we’ve improved Heavy Rotation by combining it with Top Charts so that you can quickly see the music that's popular with your friends or the entire Rdio community. Check out our new curated stations, handcrafted by our in-house experts and organized around a variety of moods and activities, in Browse. Continuing our long tradition of social discovery features, we’ve created a new section on the web called People that lets you see what your friends are listening to, right now.

All of these features are available to everyone, whether you’re listening to stations for free or you’re an Rdio Unlimited subscriber. Give them a try, or learn more about how they work.

Built by fans, for fans

With this update — which includes more new features rolled out at any one time since the original launch of the service in 2010 — we’ve put Rdio in a position to be the daily music destination for a wide variety of listeners. Rdio now pairs a first-class, cross-platform, global, free experience with the best on-demand experience on the market.

Every day, the team here at Rdio focuses on building the very best music service possible. Not the best music service for the industry — but for you, the fan. Because we’re music fans, too. We get to work on a product that we ourselves passionately use every day, that we obsess over. Everyone here has strong opinions about Rdio. This creates heated arguments about the product, its features — even its pixels. It’s never easy, but this kind of passion ultimately leads to a better product. I want to thank every single person at Rdio for channeling all of that passion and hard work into this release. It’s our best yet.

We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. We invite you to try out the latest evolution of Rdio, and we very sincerely hope that you love it as much as we do.

Jason Russell, playlist junkie and lead product manager for Home, assembled this for the occasion. Enjoy.

Chris Becherer is Rdio's SVP of Product. Follow him at rdio.com/people/becherer

∞  09/04/2014 — 12:37PM

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Get Connected To Rdio With SoundHound

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Today, we’re happy to announce a new milestone to Rdio’s integration within SoundHound, the revolutionary sound search mobile app. With the introduction of a new feature called “Connect to Rdio,” after you tag a song in SoundHound, it will be automatically placed in a “SoundHound" playlist accessed from Rdio. Along with this new update, SoundHound users will see a significant increase in the speed of their returned search results.

Here’s how it works — existing SoundHounders will see a Plus sign (+) in the results page if they have not connected to Rdio. When the Plus (+) is tapped, SoundHounders will be directed to the set-up page for “Connect To Rdio.” By enabling this feature, users will see all of the songs they identified through SoundHound as a playlist inside Rdio.

“We are always looking for additional ways to enable music discovery for our listeners,” said Chris Becherer, SVP of Product at Rdio. "We’re excited to be working with the SoundHound team to create a dynamic listening experience around songs identified in the real world, right inside Rdio.”

This new update is available now on iOS and Android.

∞  08/20/2014 — 4:56PM

News

Rdio Becomes First Streaming Service To Power Full Song Playback Within Shazam

Starting today, Rdio users on Shazam can finally go beyond the preview with full song playback on Shazam. Rdio subscribers that update your Shazam app can stream entire songs without ever leaving Shazam, making it even more seamless to discover and explore music.

Plus you can continue to add your favourite songs to your choice of playlist or automatically add all the tracks you have Shazamed to an Rdio playlist.

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"We are thrilled to be the first streaming service to power Shazam's new in-app song playback," said Chris Becherer, SVP of Product at Rdio. "This partnership helps us deliver on our promise to be everywhere music is being discovered."

This update is available now on iOS, and Android.

∞  07/14/2014 — 3:20PM

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Introducing Gapless Playback On Android

Android users who are Rdio Unlimited subscribers have a wonderful new feature that enhances overall listening pleasure. Gapless Playback allows for a seamless experience rather than the split-second gaps that can be a bumpy part of today’s digital music life.

Gapless Playback is especially noticeable when listening to live concerts, legendary retro concept albums, comedy shows and classical music. Check out some examples below:

Play Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon (2011 Remaster) with Gapless Playback to hear a great example of how a band uses an uninterrupted flow of songs to thread together the pieces of a classic concept album.

A more contemporary example can be found by listening to live performances from Daft Punk in the duo’s concert album Alive 2007In this case, Gapless playback offers a more closely simulated experience of hearing the disco robots on stage. It’s really harder, better, faster and stronger.

These two albums really illustrate the wonders of the new Gapless Playback feature - try it for yourself and hear the difference! Available for Android 4.1 and higher. iOS coming soon.

 

∞  06/01/2014 — 9:26PM

News

Rdio Expands To 60 Countries

Today, we're happy to announce Rdio has expanded into nine more countries around the world. We're now in 60 countries in six continents.

Welcome Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia in Europe as well as Indonesia, Philipines, Singapore, and Thailand in Asia.

In honor of our newest milestone, we've made a playlist of music from all the countries you can find Rdio. From Argentina's Soda Stereo to Venezuela's La Vida Boheme, uncover 60 tracks that are either current toppers, unforgettable classics, hometown anthems or just office favourites.

If you’re new to Rdio, welcome! Sign up at rdio.com right now and start streaming your favourite artist, song, album or over 400 genre stations. Discover new music and find your favorites with our web and desktop apps. You can upgrade to Rdio Unlimited any time to stream unlimited mobile music everywhere you go.

∞  05/19/2014 — 11:36PM

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Cast a Wider Net: Introducing Rdio on Google Chromecast

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We are thrilled to share news that starting today you can listen to Rdio on Google Chromecast. Chromecast allows you to cast songs, albums, stations, and playlists to your TV — then control playback from anywhere in your house and enjoy a beautiful display of album art on your big screen. This means you now have a whole new way to surround yourself with your music in the comfort of your home.

Chromecast works with devices you already own, including Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Chrome for Mac and Chrome for Windows. Once the Chromecast device is setup, simply press the cast icon in the Rdio iOS, Android or Web apps. You won't have to learn anything new. If you’re new to Rdio, you can start a free trial by simply downloading the Rdio app and registering.

“Rdio on Google Chromecast marks another milestone in Rdio’s commitment to delivering the best music experience everywhere,” said Anthony Bay, chief executive officer of Rdio. “Music fans can access Rdio’s massive catalogue of over 20 million songs or start a station easily, all from Chromecast on their TV.”

We are very excited about this awesome new way to play Rdio at home and unleash your favourite music, check out new releases, and stream an endless variety of Stations from anywhere in the house right to your TV with Chromecast’s bold new technology. It’s not only easy, but with a starting price of £30 Chromecast is also affordable.

Ready to cast your first song? Learn how to connect Google Chromecast to your TV and Rdio app.

New to Rdio? Start listening for free right now. Want the most of your Rdio experience? Upgrade to Rdio Unlimited for mobile on-demand features and ad-free listening everywhere you go.

∞  03/31/2014 — 8:01AM

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Rdio + Shazam Go Global

Rdio and Shazam

We’ve been incredibly stoked about working with Shazam the past year to power music discovery in new and creative ways. Earlier this month we announced our latest integration with Shazam to offer a personal playlist of your Shazamed songs in the Rdio App. This playlist automatically updates with every new song you tag in Shazam, making it easy to relive an amazing night out, track for track, on Rdio. Music fans can also instantly listen to entire songs on the fly right after tagging them in Shazam by clicking the “Listen Free on Rdio” link within the app.

Now Rdio and Shazam are taking these integrations around the world to 29 additional countries including France, Spain, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa.

“Working together in major countries across the globe, we are now providing more than 270 million Shazam users the ability to instantly listen to an entire song they just identified exclusively on Rdio and seamlessly build playlists on Rdio,” said Daniel Danker, chief product officer of Shazam.

“Music lovers around the globe can now connect Shazam's tagging feature with Rdio's digital music service. All the songs tagged in Shazam are automatically added to a 'My Shazam Tracks' playlist in Rdio, making it easy to identify, save, and organise their music discoveries,” said Anthony Bay, chief executive officer of Rdio. “Rdio and Shazam are at the forefront of how people are discovering new music.”

Here is the complete list of the 35 countries where the Shazam and Rdio integration is now available: United States, United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Peru, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and Venezuela.

Our partnership with Shazam is one of the many ways we are dedicated to bringing the Rdio experience to music lovers everywhere. Paired with our option to listen to Rdio for free on web or mobile in Australia, we can proudly say the music never stops! And for on-demand listening everywhere you go upgrade to Rdio Unlimited.

∞  01/28/2014 — 8:42PM

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Rdio + Shazam: Making Playlist Magic Together

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Last year, we teamed up with Shazam to make it easier than ever to listen to music you discover at clubs, shops and restaurants with the Listen Free on Rdio link, available from Shazam’s Tag screen. Now we’re taking our integration one step further with the latest Shazam mobile update, available on Android and iOS. Connect your Rdio account in a few simple steps and all of your Shazamed songs will be added to a new playlist in Rdio called “My Shazam Tracks.” And the playlist will automatically update with every new song you Shazam, making it easy to relive an amazing night out, track for track, through the Rdio app.

The Shazam playlist feature is exclusive to Rdio and instantly ready for you to use. Just update to the latest version of the Shazam app, connect your Rdio account, and your playlist awaits!

This integration is the latest example of one of our developer partners extending the Rdio experience through our powerful, best-in-class API. Over a thousand developers are actively creating a huge variety of apps using the Rdio API, making it easier for Rdio users to discover new music, attend concerts, create playlists, listen collaboratively, learn about their favorite artist, and more. Check out our API Gallery for more innovative examples of the Rdio API at work.

The latest Shazam update is available in both Free and Encore versions for iOS and Android. To connect your account, follow the instructions in your Shazam newsfeed or go to your Shazam settings and select Connect to Rdio.

∞  01/06/2014 — 6:03AM

NewsRecommended By Rdio

Today’s Harvest: Boards of Canada’s Catalog Comes To Rdio

Boards of Canada

Great news for electronic fans as well as enthusiasts of genre-bending sounds: Boards of Canada’s catalog has arrived to Rdio! In addition to the latest album Tomorrow’s Harvest, you’ll soon be able to hear the milestones in the dreamy Scottish electronic duo’s (brothers Marcus Eoin and Michael Sandison) discography.

Seminal albums Music Has The Right To Children (1998), Geogaddi (2002) and The Campfire Headphase (2005) are all available today. The BoC debut Twoism (1995), EPs In a Beautiful Place in the Country (2000) and Trans Canada Highway (2006) will all follow in late November.

Turn up the volume and reap today’s harvest from Boards of Canada now.

∞  10/21/2013 — 3:00PM

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Birds of a Feather Rock Together: Rdio Family Plans Go Global

Family Plan

Did debating what to listen to replace the age-old TV remote struggle? Hopefully no longer. Starting today, sharing music in a household isn’t just convenient, it’s also more economical — we’re proud to announce Rdio’s one-of-a-kind family subscription plan is available in every country Rdio is in.

Here’s how it works: Designate someone in your family to have a main account, and he or she will add up to five sub-accounts to their subscription. From there, each family member has their own Rdio Unlimited account, from which they build and control their own Collection, You FM station, playlists, network of followers, and other great features. Rdio’s family plan makes it easy for everyone in your brood to use Rdio simultaneously, wherever they are.

Pricing details:

  • Two members cost $22.99 per month
  • Three members cost $29.49 per month
  • Four members cost $35.99 per month
  • Five members cost $42.49 per month

Shake a tail feather and update your subscription here.

Is your fantastic taste in music hereditary? Find out with family plans, one of many Rdio-unique features.

∞  10/09/2013 — 4:00AM