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Rdio Relaunches As A 'Better Pandora', Expands Free Service

(Hypebot) – Online music streamer Rdio is embracing freemium with a slick redesign that emphasizes free radio-like streams. The freemium model helped Spotify grow its substantial user base, and is seen as part of the reason that Rdio, which does not share user numbers, has grown much more slowly. “What we’ve learned collectively over the last few years,” said Anthony Bay, Rdio’s chief executive, “is that the most successful models are freemium models.”

Rdio = Pandora + On Demand Music

As each music streamer works to differentiate itself from a growing list of competitors, Rdio is staking out an interesting position: a free Pandora-like service as the gateway to paid subscribers

Rolling out today to iOS, Android and the web in 20 of the 60 countries where Rdio is available, the new design brings free multiple pre-populated playlists to the forefront. So while attracting paid on-demand music subscribers is still the goal, "This launch is about creating a better Pandora," Marc Ruxin, chief operating officer, said in an interview.

But Rdio is not alone even in this niche. Every music streamer is expanding playlists; and Rhapsody recently introduced unRadio, a similar music service that is free for T-Mobile customers.