Rdio Officially Launches in India

Mumbai, India 2014.
Peter Adams/Getty Images

Mumbai, India.

Music streaming service Rdio has launched in India, bringing its library of 32 million songs to the second most-populous country in the world. The expansion, which takes the service to 61 markets worldwide, has been in the works since it acquired the popular Indian streamer Dhingana last March.

Rdio's offerings in India include an on-demand subscription service priced at US$1.99 (INR 120) per month as well as a free radio player for mobile, according to its website. The company's catalog includes music in 43 languages from global and regional labels.

"India is the fastest growing Internet market in the world with one of the most vibrant cultures for music," Rdio CEO Anthony Bay said in a statement. "We have built a strong local organization here, which is now our largest office and team outside the U.S. Our objective is to raise the bar for the digital music experience in India and provide the most robust offering of music from around the world, all tuned to each individual listener."

Rdio, which launched in San Francisco in 2010, has previously stated that nearly 60 percent of its monthly active users come from outside the U.S. That number could presumably rise if the service catches on in India, where Rdio's competitors include Gaana, Saavn, Wynk Music and Hungama. Australian streaming service Guvera entered India in November. Spotify, which announced this week it has 15 million paid subscribers worldwide, and Pandora have not launched there yet.

Last year's acquisition of Dhingana set the stage for Rdio to become the first global streaming service to launch in India. To help with the undertaking they hired Dhingana co-founders Swapnil and Snehal Shinde, who then "set out to marry our Indian expertise and experience with the best global music platform," they said in an announcement of the launch. "We are proud now to introduce Rdio to India, a world class product that delivers a global music service with a localized user experience for music fans in India and abroad." 

In December, Bay told Billboard that it was going to be a busy year for Rdio. "Our ultimate goal is to be everywhere," he said. "We're at 60 markets right now and we will be much closer to a 100 by the end of 2015."

Meanwhile in Australia, it was announced on Thursday that Rdio has become the official streaming partner of the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR). Said Colin Blake, the company's general manager in Australia and New Zealand: "Rdio is committed to supporting the local music industry, not only in Australia but in all corners of the world."