Rdio Select, a bargain-priced music subscription that offers ad-free radio and a limited number of new song downloads per day for about $4 per month, is preparing to launch in Europe. The budget tier is already available in the U.S., where Rdio is based, as well as Australia, Canada, India and other spots around the globe. CEO Anthony Bay told Music Week that negotiations with rights holders in Europe have taken longer than expected, and that Select should be available there in the next couple of months.
“The industry has developed its structure around 9.99 and everything new requires more discussions,” said Bay. “The market is complex in Europe. It takes longer which I think is unfortunate for European consumers, because we have a service already available in many places but not in Europe.”
Rdio Select’s radio component is pretty standard, with high-quality sound and unlimited skips, etc., but the song downloads feature is unique in that subscribers can only keep 25 new song downloads in their libraries at any given time. Each day, users can select 25 new songs, with the old ones being pushed out to make room. Subscribers can listen to their libraries offline, plus Rdio curates numerous 10-song playlists via artists and influencers that give listeners an easy way to select new tracks for their libraries.
Bay said he believes Rdio Select’s higher quality files and unlimited catalog represent an upgrade to Spotify’s freemium model, which he called “bad for the industry: If you give someone something too good for free, they have no reason to pay.”
The San Francisco-based service boasts 35 million songs and is available in over 85 countries and territories. Rdio’s premium tier, the all-you-can-eat Rdio Unlimited, is priced at $9.99.