The new music streaming service Rdio opened to the public today, beating Google, Apple, and Spotify to the punch on stateside launches that have all promised to change the way we listen to music. So is this the future? Are we there yet?
According to Prince the internet is dead, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing down for the rest of us. For months rumors of a Google music subscription service have been crackling like August cicadas, and Apple’s shuttering of streaming service Lala in May has had music fans everywhere scratching our heads, wondering how Steve Jobs plans to use Lala’s technology platform to push music into the future.
But today Rdio’s streaming service, which up until now had been in in private beta mode, opened to the public with a simple mission: unlimited music for $10 a month, period. Rdio, launched by the founders of Skype, has negotiated licensing from all major music publishers for a library of 7 million songs.
According to Mashable, “Once you purchase one of the subscription plans, you can listen to any songs you like, at any time and wherever you are, as many times as you want. CEO Drew Larner describes it as ‘unlimited online jukebox.’”
It sounds similar to platforms by Rhapsody and Mog, but Rdio also includes a social component that allows you to see what friends are listening to.
It’ll be interesting to watch what happens to startup music subscription companies if Google and Apple enter the market as promised. At the very least, it seems the Rdio launch will raise the bar for consumer expectations, which given Apple’s response to the iPhone 4 signal problems, is probably healthy.