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News

Rdio Expands To 24 New International Markets

Today, we’re pleased to announce our expansion across the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. Through our exclusive partnership with mobile phone network provider Digicel, Rdio will be available in 24 new markets and an additional seven regions.

In the coming weeks, Digicel will offer all prepaid data customers 30 minutes of free Rdio Internet radio listening per day on their mobile phones without accruing data usage charges – all through the exclusive partnership. Digicel will also be collaborating closely with us to infuse local influence in each of our new territories, curating playlists and stations together with Digicel Brand Ambassadors in each country and territory. Through this unprecedented arrangement, listeners in each market will have convenient access to popular music from around the world in addition to local artists they already enjoy.

Effective today, Rdio is available in the following new markets: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Vanuatu. In addition to the new markets where Rdio is launching, Rdio’s exclusive partnership with Digicel is effective in French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Martinique, Bonaire, El Salvador and Panama.

This latest expansion continues our vision to deliver the best music streaming experience on mobile phones, on the web, and on connected devices to an expanding international audience. If you’re new to Rdio, sign up at rdio.com or download our apps for iOS and Android to enjoy music tuned to you.

News

Rdio Expands to India

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Today, we’re happy to announce that Rdio is now available in India. With this launch, we’re bringing users the largest catalog ever to be available in India. Experience over 32 million songs in 43 languages from global, regional and local labels. Users can also choose from hundreds of curated stations, including those curated by some of the top labels in India, or create their own personalized stations.

"Over the past seven years, my brother and I have dedicated our lives to bringing millions of users the diverse and wonderful music of India,” said Snehal Shinde, VP of Emerging Markets at Rdio (Co-founder of Dhingana). “Last year Rdio acquired Dhingana and we set out to marry our Indian expertise and experience with the best global music platform. We are proud now to introduce Rdio to India, a world class product that delivers a global music service with a localized user experience for music fans in India and abroad."

“India is the fastest growing Internet market in the world with one of the most vibrant cultures for music. We have built a strong local organization here, which is now our largest office and team outside the U.S. Our objective is to raise the bar for the digital music experience in India and provide the most robust offering of music from around the world, all tuned to each individual listener,” said Anthony Bay, CEO.

In addition to providing the largest catalog of songs in India, enjoy your favourite music through our partnerships with mobile app and automotive brands:

  • Shazam - users can now connect their Rdio account to get the tracks they discover automatically added to Rdio playlists. Rdio users can also go beyond the preview, playing full tracks from Rdio right in Shazam.

  • SoundHound - this app connects directly with Rdio to enable discovered songs to be played back “in app” and also linked to a playlist in Rdio.

  • Google Chromecast - casts Rdio content to the TV’s from Rdio iOS, Android, and Web apps.

  • Automotive and Entertainment Devices - Rdio provides interactive streaming music for all Volvos in India along with aftermarket car entertainment devices such as Pioneer AppRadioLive, and HARMAN Aha Radio.

Our free radio experience can be upgraded to a full on-demand subscription service with access to any song, album, playlist or station, online or offline, without ads for $1.99 USD or 120 Rupees a month. If you’re new to Rdio, sign up at rdio.com or download our apps for iOS and Android to enjoy music tuned to you. Welcome India!

News

New For 2015: Jaguar and Land Rover Integration and Partnerships with DTS, LG Electronics and Hisense

We’re happy to start 2015 with some exciting partnership news we’ve announced at CES, the International Consumer Electronics Show, that highlights our commitment to providing users around the world with access to music everywhere they are.

Today, we’re unveiling an exclusive partnership with Bosch that integrates Rdio into dashboards of vehicles internationally through the new Bosch mySPIN platform. The partnership adds Rdio as Jaguar and Land Rover’s first in-car on-demand music streaming service on the InControl Apps platform. Users can safely interact with our online and offline features through the vehicle’s infotainment system.

As part of the initial rollout, Rdio will be accessible to Unlimited subscribers in Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles where InControl Apps is installed. Rdio on InControl Apps provides a safe way for drivers to easily access popular features, including personalized radio, curated stations, search, albums, playlists and favourites.

We’re also extending our presence on connected home devices through a pre-loaded app on Hisense smart TVs and other connected devices, building on our current TV presence through Roku (the Roku remote control includes an Rdio button), its existing customized app on Google Chromecast, and upcoming HTML5-based smart TV compatibility.

Our new partnerships also extend our reach with in-home wireless speaker systems through integration in the LG Connect SDK home streaming platform for mobile devices interfacing with smart TVs, DTS Play-Fi® technology and Google Cast for audio (through the “Cast” button in the Rdio mobile app that automatically streams to Google Cast Ready speakers). These advancements add to our current wireless speaker partnerships, which includes Sonos, Samsung Shape and Bluesound devices by Lenbrook.

“Our vision is to offer every song ever recorded, on any device, anywhere in the world, instantly tuned to each listener. People listen to music wherever they are at work, in the car, on the go, and at home. Providing our customers with a simple, integrated and consistent music experience in their homes is a priority for us and one we are investing significant resources in,” said Anthony Bay, CEO, Rdio. “Dedicated audio devices as well as integrating music into the TV experience are priorities for Rdio, and we look forward to introducing Rdio on each of these exciting devices and platforms in 2015.”

News

New Update for Windows Phone Available Today

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In September, we introduced a big update for Rdio listeners on iOS, Android and the web, including a greatly enhanced free radio experience and a host of new music discovery and organization features. Today, we’re bringing all of those improvements to Windows Phone users around the world. New features include:

  • Ad-supported radio stations. Endless stations including stations by artists, tastemakers, genres, moods or activities, plus personalized stations tuned to each individual listener.
  • Home. An evolving mix of music stories, personalized for you.
  • Favorites. Find something you love? Favorite anything from albums to artists, songs to stations, and keep them all in one place. All songs and albums from your existing Collection and playlists you’ve subscribed to now live here.
  • Browse. Stations can now be found here, from genre stations to all-new curated stations for any mood.
  • Trending. What’s most popular right now, combining Heavy Rotation and Top Charts.

“Rdio’s Windows Phone app relaunch reiterates our mission to give all music lovers the ability to listen to the music they choose anytime, anywhere, on any device,” said Chris Becherer, Senior Vice President, Product, Rdio. “We're thrilled to bring Rdio’s impressive music catalog and powerful new music discovery features to Windows Phone users around the world.”

The new app also includes support for Cortana and Live Tiles. Windows 8.1 users can download the app beginning today from the Windows Phone app store.

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Rdio's Family Plan: Same Great Music, An Even Lower Price!

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We’re all about family here at Rdio. That’s why back in 2011 we were the first music service to offer a Family Plan so everyone could simultaneously enjoy Rdio -- anytime, anywhere, online, offline and on any device.

Our Family Plan provides each family member access to more than 30 million songs with individual control over music collection, You FM, stations, playlists and other great features. And now we’re excited to announce that our Family Plan price has been lowered to only $5 for each additional Rdio listener in your family . Here’s the new pricing breakdown:

• Family of 2 = 14.99
• Family of 3 = 19.99
• Family of 4 = 24.99
• Family of 5 = 29.99

With our Family Plan, say goodbye to having only one person being able to listen at a time — or having to share favourites and playlists that aren’t really your own. And say goodbye to friends wondering why “you” are listening to your kid’s music that's overcrowding the Home feed.

Keep your music individuality and sign up for family sub-accounts to your Rdio subscription here. Learn more about the Rdio Family plan here.

We’ll be rolling out the new pricing across the globe starting today, just in time for the holiday season. So you can give your loved ones the gift of the world’s best music experience - tuned to you.

In honor of the occasion, we put together this playlist celebrating the music of family bands.

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Rdio Now With iOS 8 and CarPlay Support

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Today we’re announcing an exciting update for iOS 8 that continues our commitment to creating the best music service in the world, tuned to you.

Our latest update includes:
- CarPlay Support. We’re one of the first music services to be integrated into Apple’s CarPlay. Control Rdio playback and navigate your favorites and playlists from the built-in display in CarPlay-enabled cars.
- Interactive Notifications. Play music and follow people directly from an Rdio push notification.
-Optimized Visuals. Enjoy high-resolution images and album artwork with your iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+.

Download Rdio for iOS and try out the new features for yourself. Be sure to follow @Rdio on Twitter and Like Rdio on Facebook to stay up-to-date with our apps.

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Introducing High-Quality AAC Audio Across The Globe

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Today we’re happy to announce we’ve converted our entire catalog of over 30 million songs to high-quality AAC audio. Listeners around the world now have four sound quality settings to choose from across iOS, Android, and the web. All Rdio users can choose between data-efficient 64 kbps all the way up to 192 kbps. Rdio Unlimited subscribers now also have the option of listening in pristine-quality 320 kbps. Plus individually select your audio settings for a variety of uses, whether you’re using Wi-Fi or cellular streaming or listening to offline downloads.

Our commitment to sound quality also deepens today with our partnership with Bob Weir, the legendary founding member of the Grateful Dead and champion of Musicians for Audio Quality Initiative. To celebrate this milestone, we’re releasing an exclusive catalog of Bob Weir tracks recorded at the Tamalpais Research Institute (TRI Studios), his state of the art studio in Marin County, CA. The catalog features Weir as well as musicians like Dave Schools, Sammy Hagar, and many others.

Download the latest updates to Rdio on iOS and Android to start this exciting new listening experience today.

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BANKS Hosts Rdio's Artist To Watch Station

When we recently announced that curated radio stations were now a core, free feature at Rdio, we teased you with some upcoming news about the next phase of Rdio stations. Today, we are excited to reveal our first-ever hosted Rdio station.

Los Angeles singer/songwriter BANKS is our first host, taking control of Rdio’s “Artists to Watch” station. The station features music from the 20 artists, including BANKS, that Rdio hand-selected in January as the next big thing you’ll hear. As host of the “Artists to Watch” station, BANKS talks about her just-released debut album Goddess, her musical influences and what artists she’s currently discovering and enjoying.

In honor of her new album and her role as our inaugural hostess, BANKS also put together a playlist exclusively for Rdio featuring some of the artists that have inspired and influenced her. From Portishead to Alanis Morissette to The Weeknd, check out her “Inspirations” playlist now to listen to some of the artists that have had an impact on BANKS’ distinct sound.

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Music Sounds Better With You

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By Joe Armenia

Rdio has always focused on giving music fans the best access to the artists they love while also coming up with new ways for them to discover their next new favourites. The promise of discovery through people has always been paramount at Rdio, and we get really excited when we get to facilitate the process. Creating platforms and programs that showcase not only the superstar artist releases but also the most obscure albums from artists we think need to be heard is a privilege, and we take it seriously.

Today, we advance that promise another great leap with the introduction of our free stations-first offering, creating even more exciting opportunities for you to connect with tastemakers and artists who feel exactly the same way about connecting people and music.

As a diehard music fan, it’s always fascinating to know what music my favourite artists or personalities are listening to. Now, you can turn to some of the influencers and tastemakers you trust most to serve up some new music. Stations from our friends at !!OMG Blog!!, Exclaim! and MTV News will give you a good earful of what they’ve got in rotation for their audiences. If you’re an indie lover, check out labels like Dine Alone and Arts & Crafts featuring the best of their releases. You can even play stations programmed by cultural icons like (right on time!) TIFF and AUX TV. The listening possibilities are endless, with stations curated by everyone from George Stroumboulopoulos to Aussie electro legends The Presets to – just in time for New York Fashion Week - the always fashionable Marc Jacobs International and tons more. Look for the Tastemakers section on the Browse tab and dive in.

What’s insanely exciting about these stations is that it’s really just the beginning. We have the opportunity to create hosted Rdio stations, so your connection to your favorite artist or celebrity can be much more personal. Watch this space next week for news on our first-ever hosted station.

And the announcements aren’t over yet. To celebrate all the great new Rdio features, we’re rolling out a slew of Rdio Sessions over the next few weeks. Continuing the ongoing series of unique, intimate recorded performances hand-picked by and exclusive to Rdio, we’re introducing 2 new sets today: hot country duo Dan + Shay (our first country Session!) and Canadian rockers Tokyo Police Club.

These sets will be joined in the coming weeks by Rdio Sessions from an amazing lineup of artists: The 1975, Daughtry, Switchfoot, SOHN, Haerts, Strange Talk, Jon Pardi, Little Boots and Tensnake, our first original DJ Session. Can’t get enough of these amazing, intimate recordings? Tune into the Rdio Sessions station (you knew I was going to say that) to catch up on all of the great music in the Rdio Sessions vaults.

Joe Armenia runs Rdio’s music team and influencer programs. Follow Joe on Rdio.

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The Renaissance of Music Collecting

By Marc Ruxin

I was six when I first fell for music. I raided my parent’s record collection, skipped the classical records, didn’t quite understand jazz or blues, but fell hard for The Beatles. Although it was the music that made me smile, it was also the act of pulling the record from the sleeve, admiring the art, reading the song titles, cleaning the vinyl, and dropping the needle on the record that was very much part of the fun.

As it turned out, this was not a passing phase. I’d listen to the radio to fall asleep. It was the mid-70’s so the commercial music on the radio was what we now describe as classic rock, with a heavy dose of disco. By the time I was 12, I would begin to spend my hard earned allowance on records. Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Styx, Foreigner, Wings, Billy Squire, The Police, The Who, Ozzy Osborne - it was pretty obvious stuff I suppose, even though some of it didn’t endure the test of time. In the 7th grade, a buddy with cool older brothers, played me a cassette called “This Are Two Tone.” My mind was blown initially by the stark black and white mod cover art, but then I listened to the music. It was on that tape that I discovered The Specials, The Selector, Madness and finally The English Beat. My life was changed by rock and roll. The next day I raided my piggy bank and bought all the records I could find by the artists on the compilation.

I was hooked. I begged my parents to get me a subscription to Rolling Stone, and then Spin, and a few years later Option Magazine. I clipped out album reviews, band photos, and hung them on the cork wall in my bedroom next to the posters that came from the various albums: Devo, Wings, Rush. The first thing I did when I turned 16 and got my drivers license was drive to Cleveland to buy records. For the next 20 years I frittered away most of my allowance or paychecks, and much of my free time, milling through bins of records and CDs building a massive collection of life-changing music.

But at some point in the early 2000’s I started buying digital albums, primarily from eMusic and then eventually from Amazon or directly from artist sites. I never liked the DRM on iTunes, and so I steered clear of Apple as a music store. I stopped going to Amoeba Music music every weekend, Kim’s Video in NYC closed, and slowly but surely a huge part of my lifelong obsession collecting physical music ended. Option Magazine was long gone, Rolling Stone had become a magazine about politics and celebrity photos, and Spin had long lost its focus. I now bought external hard-drives and spent an ungodly amount of time digitizing CDs, scrubbing the messy metadata and multiple copies of albums digitized at various bit rates. Then Napster happened, and the music business was turned on its head. It became easier to steal music than to buy it. I never bought into file sharing, because after all if artists couldn’t make a living making music, there wouldn’t be as many artists trying to make music. I was trying to do my part in a very small way, so I continued as a small patron buying tracks and albums.

There were no more beautiful double albums, liner notes, and song lyrics. There was no more flipping of albums, browsing through walls of CDs in search of the perfect album. It was more about accumulating digital bits on increasingly small and slick drives. But then came the iPod. The Walkman and headphone culture had been largely dead for eons, but these digital files could now be consumed on these small sleek devices. Tiny white headphones became a fashion accessory, and collecting music started to get interesting again.

But then something amazing happened. Online music services started to emerge. There was Pandora, Rhapsody, Mog, iMeem and eventually Spotify, Soundcloud and Rdio. Initially they were web services because mobile devices weren’t sophisticated enough to handle the software, and there wasn’t enough storage to take advantage of the promise of “renting” infinite amounts of music. Broadband signals were weak so streaming was often challenging. But then came the iPhone and the app store, and the companies that survived built apps, and the labels started to allow for the legal streaming of music to phones and computers. Companies like Sonos made it easy to stream files from central archives, and eventually blue tooth devices like the Jambox made it easy to push music over Bluetooth to compact devices.

The magazines of old were replaced by wonderful blogs like Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, Aquarium Drunkard, and Hipster Runoff. Artists could now release singles, covers and EPs immediately, and ride the hype cycle into instant stardom. Distribution was becoming increasingly influenced by artists, and these new platforms made being a music collector so much more immediate, accessible and inexpensive.

In the old days, you needed to be rich, or content being poor to be a great collector. Albums, CDs and cassettes were expensive relative to today’s $10 a month subscription service. For less than the cost of one downloaded album on iTunes or Amazon, you can have over 30M tracks available online or offline, on the web or your phone, played through a stereo, or computer or tablet. Instead of having to commit to buying something on a whim that might suck, you can easily test drive a song or an album at no additional cost. Had this option been available to me as a teenager, I would have saved literally thousands of dollars a year. Instead of buying magazine subscriptions, I can read reviews, watch live concerts and videos for free.

Discovery is also considerably easier. You now have social features that prompt you when there are new releases and highlights popular music across your social graph accessible in a single click. After all people turn people onto music and that will never change. Things like bios, photos, and social media are integrated into these services, reducing the endless trolling for the right reviews, or buried diamonds in the new release rough. Now you can have most of the music ever recorded complete with all the context (reviews, ratings, etc.) delivered over the Internet to whatever device you happen to be on.

The act of collecting has become more about consuming and connecting. The times they are a changin’.

At Rdio we have built what I would argue is the most comprehensive service available to give music lovers music any way they want it. Songs, albums, playlists and starting today radio stations built around you. From algorithmically generated stations that can be initiated with a song or artist, to fully curated stations based on mood or genre, to personal stations where people can listen to other people’s recent activity. You can now access all of this for free supported by ads or uninterrupted for a fraction of the cost of a single CD.

The future is now. Artists can reach a global audience instead of the one restricted by physical distribution and retail marketing. This is a good thing. The more listeners an artist can attract directly, the more money they can make. The more money they can make, the more artists will continue to pursue creating art.

In the end surely something was lost when the act of physical collecting disappeared. The era of “High Fidelity” is largely over. The Jack Blacks who man the counters of dusty record stores are gone. The smell of new vinyl is restricted to purists, and the hand printed zines of old are all but extinct. The walls of records and CD’s have disappeared from apartments and houses, but now these private collections can be shared with the world in pint-sized digital images.

Collecting music is now a democratic, global endeavor. You don’t have to live in hip cities to access limited edition music. You don’t have to be rich to afford the pursuit. Nearly everything is available to anyone with a smartphone or computer. Music is, after all, one of the world’s most creative inventions. It is highly local, yet massively global. After years of trying to build a model where both consumers and artists win, we are finally at the beginning of something amazing. Technology has caught up, and the business of music has finally entered a safe and exciting time.

I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a company that built a business specifically to bring music to everybody, wherever they are and no matter what music they like. In the immortal words of Bob Marley “where there is a will, there is always a way.” It has been a long journey, but today the song doesn’t remain the same, but then again it does … only differently.

Marc Ruxin is the COO of Rdio.