Subscription music service Rdio introduced its first iPad app today, which is notable less for its features and more for the way its signing up users.
Due to Apple's new rules for signing up subscribers through apps downloaded from the App Store--which state any subscription gained through the app owes a Apple 30% cut.--most digital music services have stopped offering new users the ability to sign up through the app. Instead, under a newly amended version of those rules, they just offer links back to their respective websites where new customers can sign up without owing Apple anything.
Not Rdio. With the new iPad app, Rdio is soliciting new subscribers directly from the app, at $15 a month, while also encouraging users to sign up directly from their website at $9 a month. And of course the Web-only version of Rdio remains $5 a month.
Rdio is making this move simply because it hopes the popularity of the iPad will bring it much-needed new subscribers. Since launching last year, Rdio has proven a disappointment among major labels who had far higher hopes for a music subscription service started by former Skype and Kazza co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. Whipser numbers from label sources have both six-month old Muve from Cricket Wireless and barely month-old Spotify as each having more paid subscribers than Rdio to date.
However with now three different pricing tires-one for Web only, one for Web and mobile, and one for Web and mobile if you signed up via the iPhone or iPad app-the potential for customer confusion is greater than ever.
As for the iPad app itself, it offers all the same features as the Web and iPhone versions, but optimized for a larger screen and touch-screen interface.
In other app-related news this week:
- The Echo Nest and Public Radio Exchange introduced a new app called Bandito. It scans users iTunes libraries and provides a customized music news and reviews feed based on users' most listened tranks.
- Tapulous struck a deal with Fox Digital Entertainment for a Glee-branded version of the popular Tap Tap Revenge franchise, called Tap Tap Glee, featuring Glee covers and originals. The app launched today in conjunction with the upcoming release of "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie," out Aug. 12.