There's no lack of choices when it comes to music subscription streaming services such as Beats, Pandora, Rdio, Spotify, and Xbox Music to name just a few. Even YouTube is getting into the groove with YouTube Music Key announced on Wednesday. It's no surprise then, that Rdio is feeling the heat to remain competitive.
Following Spotify's family plan announcement in October, Rdio announced cuts to its family rates that bring it in line with Spotify's cheaper prices. Rdio group subscriptions now cost exactly the same as Spotify: $10 for an individual premium plan and then an extra $5 for every user after that.
The story behind the story: With so many music choices, Rdio has been gunning hard to compete with similar services like Spotify, as well as Pandora. In September, Rdio launched a free tier intended to boost the service's popularity and to better compete with Spotify. The new effort seems to be working well as Cumulus Media, Rdio's investor and advertising partner, recently revealed that the streaming service was responsible for most of Cumulus' growth in digital ad revenue for the quarter, based on a Seeking Alpha transcript. Matching Spotify on pricing for family rates could similarly boost the service's popularity and bottom line, or at least convince current family subscribers not to jump ship.
Rdio vs. Spotify cage match
Rdio and Spotify appear very similar. Both services offer free and paid tiers that let you listen to pretty much any music you choose--save for Taylor Swift--as well as create playlists, and listen to personalized radio stations a la Pandora.
But Rdio places a bigger focus on so-called "lean back listening" with Pandora-style radio stations. Spotify has radio too, but it isn't the focus of the service the way it is with Rdio.
The centerpiece of Rdio's radio focus is what it calls YouFM, a radio station personalized to your listening tastes using your favorites, genre tastes, and listening history. (Spotify users can think of it as an Internet radio version of Browse and Discover.)
If you like the click-and-go style of listening as your main focus, Rdio may be the better option for you.