News

Music Sounds Better With You

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 BBC6 Now Playing: Music, The 405 and Hype Machine 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 Domino Records and Wichita Recordings featuring the best of their releases. You can even play stations programmed by TV personalities like Carly Wilford and the chatty one Alan Carr. The listening possibilities are endless, with stations curated by everyone from Scissor Sister Jake Shears 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.

∞  04/09/2014 — 3:41PM

Posted by Rdio at 3:41PM in News |

News

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

Help-home
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 BBC6 Now Playing Music or Alan Carr. 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 catalogue. 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 catalogue 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 favourite it. The more you favourite, 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

∞  04/09/2014 — 11:09AM

Posted by Rdio at 11:09AM in News |

News

Get Connected To Rdio With SoundHound

SoundHound_Rdio_Hero_online
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.

∞  20/08/2014 — 4:56PM

Posted by Rdio at 4:56PM in News |

Developer App

Experience Rdio on U Browser

Ubrowser
We're excited to announce that Rdio is now available on U, an innovative new browser that lets you control your music while you check your email, chat with friends or read the news. With Rdio’s app on U, you can pull up your favorite music and take it with you while you keep browsing. Volume control, album artwork, and play/pause/skip buttons are always right where you want them. It's being called CrossOver™ browsing, and once you experience it you’ll never look back. U is available for download now.

∞  14/08/2014 — 4:18PM

Posted by Rdio at 4:18PM in Developer App |

Exclusives

Exclusive: The Maine Unleashes Surprises on Rdio Sessions

One of our most special types of exclusives is the Rdio Sessions series, which captures live recordings of intimate sets played for Rdio fans. Arizona rockers and Warped Tour favorites The Maine recently stopped by Faultline Studios in San Francisco to play a concert comprised of surprises.

Listen to Rdio Sessions by The Maine to hear the band’s unexpected set list, which bypasses the singles from 2013’s Forever Halloween (produced by Brendan Benson of The Raconteurs) in favor of less-spotlighted gems like “Kennedy Curse” and “F--ked Up Kids” and even unearths a previously hidden song from 2011’s Pioneer.

Subscribe to the Rdio Sessions playlist to hear more cool sets from Rdio favorites like Passenger, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers and STRFKR.

∞  15/07/2014 — 8:15AM

Posted by Rdio at 8:15AM in Exclusives |

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 update their 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.

Rdio_full_playback_final

"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.

∞  14/07/2014 — 3:21PM

Posted by Rdio at 3:21PM in News |

Exclusives

Global Exclusive: Rdio Sessions - A Dance Party With STRFKR

Credit+-+Rachel+Hubbard (1)
Portland’s STRFKR is a group that’s close to our hearts here at Rdio. We were the first to offer a preview of last year’s album Miracle Mile and are now thrilled to present the band’s contribution to Rdio Sessions, our set of intimate recordings available only on Rdio.

Recorded live in San Francisco, this exclusive STRFKR set includes highlights from Miracle Mile including the bright pop of “Malmö,” the swaggering “While I’m Alive,” and the discofied “Atlantis,” plus “Bury Us Alive” from 2011’s Reptilians and “Rawnald Gregory Erickson The Second,” the irresistibly bouncy song from the self-titled 2008 debut Starfucker that started it all. Go ahead and have a sweaty dance party, we won’t tell!

Subscribe to the Rdio Sessions playlist to hear more recordings from Rdio favorites such as Passenger, City and Colour and Shout Out Louds.

∞  10/06/2014 — 8:16AM

Posted by Rdio at 8:16AM in Exclusives |

Rdio Expands To 60 Countries

Today, we're pleased 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, Phillipines, 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.

∞  19/05/2014 — 11:39PM

Posted by Rdio at 11:39PM |

Bring on Festival Season! The 405's Guide to 2014 Music Fests

Glastonbury love

As music obsessives, we think there aren’t many things better than seeing your favourite band live. So when summer approaches and we have the opportunity to catch a whole heap of great acts and possibly a few rays of sun at the same time, that’s pretty exciting!

Festival season kicked off already in the US with desert-based extravaganza Coachella, but the UK’s world-famous run of outdoor live music is about to get started in earnest. With so many events lined up, it can be a little bewildering to figure out where to start, but The 405 have it sewn up with their 2014 festival guide, and they’ve made playlists for each festival lineup exclusively on Rdio.

Look ahead to May and June to check out The 405’s picks of the festivals coming up. Get revved up for the festivals you plan to attend or get inspired to make a ticket purchase for the likes of Field Day and Isle of Wight Festival:

Alternatively, explore the playlists and recreate the vibe (with less mess) in your own living room! There are even options further afield such as Roskilde or Bonnaroo, for those hardcore enough to make the trip abroad for great live music.

With the whole summer stretching out before us this is just part 1 of the festival guide, so be sure to check back for more. Follow The 405 on Rdio to explore their taster playlists of the key festivals this summer.

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

∞  30/04/2014 — 3:23PM

Posted by Rdio at 3:23PM |

Influencer SpotlightsMusicRdio Recommends

New Music: The 405 Recommends

The 405 Recommends

Last month, music gurus The 405 gave our ears a treat with their recommendations for the very best new tracks. We think they’ve outdone themselves with these latest picks and can’t wait for you to give them a whirl.

Here are The 405’s top finds, all ready for you to enjoy on Rdio!

Ang Low
Brooklyn's brightest R&B talent is Ang Low, a platinum-gulleted dude supreme with a penchant for soul, indie-pop and electronica. Firmly hitched to the '90s revival bandwagon, Ang Low stands out head and shoulders above the common rabble. Heavy on emotional content, pop pizazz and ingenuity, he is a prime example of how to be a true original in a saturated genre. “Can't Describe Her” and the twinkling parade “Life Goes Down” are essential listens.

Sylvan Esso
North Carolina twosome Sylvan Esso came together serendipitously back in 2012. The pair swiftly began doodling with noise, sculpting sublime synthpop that careens between skulking dance lurches (“Coffee”) and quaint folk handclappery (“Hey Mami”) – the combinations they make are both fascinating sonic explorations and technically flawless ditties, showcasing Nick Sanborn's eclectic genre-hopping penchant and Amelia Meath's golden pipes. 2014 is set to be a big year, and it's easy to hear why.

Zhala
Like Naomi Pilgrim, Swedish singer Zhala once got her kicks as a backup vocalist for Lykke Li, but is now striving to create her own pop dynasty. Unlike Pilgrim, Zhala's manic electro-pop skirts demonic rather than sweet; tracks like the distorted dance-pop barrage “Prophet,” with its rhythmic flippancy and gyrating synth pulses, prove Zhala to be a more tarnished force. These are otherworldly musings, drenched in '90s house. Her oldest cut, “Slippin Around,” is less frenetic, and her distinct vocal tones shine through amongst the glitches, digi-blips and tribal beats.

Check back for more recommendations from Rdio influencers and Follow The 405 on Rdio for more essential emerging music.

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

∞  11/04/2014 — 11:10AM

Posted by Rdio at 11:10AM in Influencer Spotlights, Music, Rdio Recommends |