Is Rdio feeling the heat from Spotify in America? Perhaps, but let’s enjoy it now and ask questions later. The subscription music service will soon launch free access with — are you ready? — absolutely no advertising. Rdio sent out emails the other night announcing the news, calling it an “industry first”.
Yes it’s true, there are other services such as Spotify and Grooveshark that offer free on-demand music streaming. But neither of them have been able to pull it off without any advertising. Details are sparse right now on how Rdio will actually make any money, but rumor has it we’ll hear more at Facebook’s f8 conference next week. The two are said to be working on a partnership to launch a free music service for Facebook users. Should this happen, it’s possible Rdio could get a cut of Facebook’s advertising revenue.
As a spokesperson for Rdio mentioned, the service was the first to offer an iPad app in addition to an iPhone app. Not only is it functional, but the interface is top-notch, as you can see above. Unfortunately, we don’t know if Rdio’s free plan will support their mobile apps. There isn’t any information saying anything one way or the other, so we’re just assuming (and hoping) it does. The current pricing plans for Rdio is either $4.99 per month or $9.99 per month, which gets you unlimited web access or both unlimited web and mobile access respectively. This is on par with Spotify’s pricing, but with Rdio’s upcoming free plan that delivers their full library of content with no ads, Spotify may face trouble ahead.
More details to come.