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

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 favorite 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 personalizes 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 center

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 personalized listening experience. You can listen to your own You FM, or tune into the You FM station of a friend or tastemaker like Rolling Stone magazine or The El Rey Theatre. 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 favorite 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 personalized 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 favorite 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 personalized. 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 personalization 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


A Special Gift from Aether for Rdio Subscribers

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We are thrilled to announce that today Aether Cone will go on-sale exclusively to new and current Rdio Unlimited subscribers. Cone is the thinking music player that learns what you like and plays what you’ll love. Turn the dial and Cone automatically plays the perfect sound for the moment, selected from more than 25 million tracks on Rdio and filling any room with incredible sound. If you know exactly what you want to hear, tell Cone to “play” an artist, album, or title. As a thank you for being an Rdio subscriber, Cone is gifting a special offer of $5 off your Cone for every month you have subscribed to Rdio, up to $180 off the price. Visit to take advantage of this limited time offer.

∞  August 25, 2014 — 11:00AM


Get Connected To Rdio With SoundHound

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.


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 favorite songs to your choice of playlist or automatically add all the tracks you have Shazamed to an Rdio playlist.


"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.

∞  July 14, 2014 — 3:13PM


Company News: Rdio + TastemakerX

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we are growing our team with the acquisition of TastemakerX, a leading music discovery and curation service. Based in San Francisco, TastemakerX was founded in 2011 to help artists connect with fans. TastemakerX enables listeners to discover new music, build and listen to virtual collections, and view artists based on social discovery.

“We are excited with all the new talent that has joined Rdio and the acquisition of TastemakerX. Marc Ruxin and the TastemakerX team share our passion for providing the world’s best music experience and they bring added capabilities help accelerate our ability to fulfill that mission,” said Anthony Bay, CEO of Rdio.

“Unlike many of the other players in the space, Rdio exists, in one way, as fiercely independent. It serves only the master of distributing a great music experience. It is my hope that over time, music discovery becomes easier, more fun and seamlessly social. Rdio really is a place for music lovers and we are thrilled to begin this next voyage," said Marc Ruxin, CEO of TastemakerX.

This announcement follows the news of Rdio’s recent acquisition of Dhingana, one of the largest streaming music services in India and its expansion into nine additional countries, making the service available in a total of 60 countries. Rdio’s multi-local strategy is delivered through strategic partnerships like Shaw in Canada, BAND in Brazil, and Cumulus in the U.S., among others.

The additional executive talent will support the company’s continued rapid international growth, catalog expansion and overall product development and market strategy.

To celebrate this new addition to the Rdio family, enjoy this playlist of recent discoveries from TastemakerX. Learn more about TastemakerX here.

∞  June 30, 2014 — 1:40PM


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 2007. In 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.

∞  May 29, 2014 — 3:21PM


Express Yourself With Music on Facebook Mobile


Sometimes a song says it all. Beyond a photo, a pin on the map, or even a smiley, sometimes a song is all you need to express yourself.  

Starting today, you do just that on the Facebook app on iOS and Android. Capture the moment with a song wherever you find yourself. Choose the “Listening To” icon in the composer status on the Facebook app. After you turn the feature on, Facebook will try to find a match for the song you’re listening to. You can then choose to post it to your friends, who will be able to listen to a 30-second preview of the song in News Feed.

As well, any time a song is shared from Rdio on Facebook, you’ll now see a preview button on your mobile timeline. Just hit play and you can quickly sample what your closest friends are listening to. 

It’s just another way that Rdio and Facebook are bringing music closer to you.

∞  May 22, 2014 — 7:58AM


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, Philippines, 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 favorites.

If you’re new to Rdio, welcome! Sign up at right now and start streaming your favorite 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.

∞  May 19, 2014 — 7:36PM


Rdio Partners with The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir to Improve Streaming Audio Quality

Music is our passion at Rdio. We believe music is more than just a background beat. It's an expression of our moods, encompasses our personal stories, and has always been and always will be one of the most powerful and shareable forms of art.

As a reflection of that passion, Rdio has aligned with The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir on an initiative called “Artists For Quality.” Our joint mission is to ignite and lead discussions on inequity in streaming audio quality, and to commit to both artists and music fans to establish the highest standard of streaming quality in the digital music space.

As the initial step in this program, Rdio has begun to convert its entire existing catalog to the AAC format and will deliver 320KbPS as our new standard — without increasing our price. In addition, and as part of our ongoing commitment to the artist community, Rdio will work closely with artists and labels from around the world to continue to raise the bar higher on streaming quality where sufficient network bandwidth exists, and to improve stream delivery in markets around the world where network quality and bandwidth are often inconsistent.

Through Bob Weir and his network of friends, from music legends to top emerging artists, we are looking forward to working together to ensure that Rdio delivers the best possible audio quality option to both artists and music fans.

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about this important and exciting venture.

Bob Weir announces "Artists for Quality" on CNBC, April 25, 2014.

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.

NewsRdio RecommendsThis Week on Rdio

Send a Raven! Game of Thrones Characters Battle it Out on Rdio

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Not that we are obsessed or anything, but Game of Thrones will be upon us in mere hours (yes, we are counting). In the preamble to this auspicious event fans of the immensely popular HBO show have gotten creative this week and descended on Rdio to create a slice of Westeros by building in-character profiles and playlists for the show's protagonists and antagonists. And we are loving it!

As you patiently await the Season 4 premiere this Sunday, check out some true fan obsession with these playlists from your favorite Game of Thrones characters. Rdio’s "GoT" the perfect distraction — and accompaniment to your viewing parties — with these clever profiles from Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, King Joffrey, Jon Snow, and Hodor of Winterfell that are stirring up the drama and laughs.

And for more amusement, be sure to read the hilarious playlist comments posted from one in-character profile to another. See King Joffrey’s sociopathic and tyrannical jab on Arya Stark’s "Stick 'Em With The Pointy End" playlist here and what our favorite Mother of Dragons thinks of Jon Snow (even though they’ve never met) here.

Game of Thrones, Season 4 premieres this Sunday, April 6 on HBO. Follow your favorite characters on Rdio throughout the season to see new music and playlists added from the Seven Kingdoms, Essos, and beyond the Wall.

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.

Daenerys Targaryen unleashes a fierce set of queen tunes on Ascending and compiles a hilarious set of Mother’s Day Songs — no surprise she’s really into dragon songs.

It’s not easy being drunk all the time, but Tyrion Lannister makes it look effortless. J. Cole, UB40, Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars are on hand to help him celebrate wine, women, and money on his Things I Like a Lot and I Prefer Fun Sized playlists.

Arya Stark's been kicking ass and taking names all over Westeros. Check out the music that preps our favorite spitfire for revenge on her Stick ‘Em with the Pointy End playlist and her collection of favorite Girl vs Boy tomboy theme songs.

It’s good to be King Joffrey, and he gives it up to his all-time favorite person with his Me, Myself & I and Inspiration playlists.

Our favorite handsome bastard and member of the Night’s Watch Jon Snow knows how to stay warm while bumping his Night’s Watch Slow Jamz and Just Chilln’ playlists.

Loyal servant and Big Man Hodor of Winterfell is always at the side of young Bran Stark. He doesn’t say much, but we love tha drops and big bodied, hip-hop beats on Hodurrrrrr.

∞  April 4, 2014 — 3:08PM