Paid music subscription services have their work cut out for them amid free music options like YouTube, Pandora and the thriving peer-to-peer sector, said Janus Friis, co-founder of Skype, Kazaa, and new music subscription service Rdio. Friis opened the Billboard Mobile Entertainment Live Music App Summit in San Francisco October 5, part of a series of keynote speakers spanning the mobile music space, from Clear Channel to “I Am T-Pain” app maker Ge Wang of Smule.

Created by Skype's founders Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, Rdio's a new $9.99 a month music subscription service for web, and smartphones with seven million songs from all four major record labels and independent aggregators.

The former enabler of p2p downloads said, “We're much better not to compete with free. We know we had to create a service that was so damn good that people would be willing to pay for it. We thought mobile would be the hook. It's just the landscape. You always compete with free."

Friis said mobile music subscription services have emerged as a genuine value that can beat peer to peer options with better features that come from for-profit development.


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