Rdio en­ables sav­ing of tracks from 500 live ra­dio sta­tions

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS - BY RYAN NAKASHIMA

Rdio, the mu­sic sub­scrip­tion ser­vice backed by Skype co­founder Janus Friis, is part­ner­ing to bring simul­casts of 500 tra­di­tional ra­dio sta­tions to its app in the U. S.

The move is the next step in its part­ner­ship with sta­tion owner Cu­mu­lus Media Inc., which took a 15 per­cent stake in Rdio in 2013.

By gain­ing ac­cess to data about what’s play­ing on the Cu­mu­lus- owned sta­tions, like KFOG in San Fran­cisco or KLOS in Los An­ge­les, the app now al­lows users to pick fa­vorite tracks and save them for later play­back. Play­back re­quires a sub­scrip­tion of at least US$ 4 a month, which caps off­line lis­ten­ing at 25 songs. Roll­out with other sta­tions and in other coun­tries next year.

Ap­ple Mu­sic pro­vides a sim­i­lar abil­ity to pick fa­vorites and save tracks played on its newly launched Beats1 online- only ra­dio sta­tion, but Rdio of­fers a far wider se­lec­tion of tower- based sta­tions.

It’s the latest push by a dig­i­tal mu­sic com­pany to gear its ser­vice to ac­com­mo­date live au­dio with hu­man DJs. San Fran­cis­cobased TuneIn has ac­cess to 100,000 tra­di­tional ra­dio sta­tions but no way to mark and save songs. Los An­ge­les- based Dash Ra­dio pro­vides dozens of online sta­tions ad- free with pop­u­lar hosts like DJ Skee and Snoop Dogg, but also no way to mark fa­vorites.

Rdio CEO An­thony Bay says “no one has done what we’re try­ing to do” — con­nect­ing live

is planned

over

the tra­di­tional ra­dio feeds to a sub­scrip­tion mu­sic ser­vice.

“We think we’re pro­vid­ing a great ex­pe­ri­ence to peo­ple who love ra­dio, which is al­most ev­ery­one,” he said.

Cu­mu­lus will swap out ads that play on its ter­res­trial sta­tions with more tar­geted au­dio ads based on the lis­tener’s lo­ca­tion. One is­sue that will fol­low the ter­res­trial broad­cast online is the amount of time de­voted to advertising, which is much longer than on ad- based In­ter­net mu­sic ser­vices like Pan­dora.

Bay said how ads work may evolve over time, but he noted that In­ter­net-based lis­ten­ing will at least pay roy­al­ties to per­form­ing artists and la­bels, which tra­di­tional ra­dio has not done in the U.S.

“It’s a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence, and cre­ates more eco­nomic value for ev­ery­one in­volved,” he said.

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