Apple is supposedly trying to do away with free streaming music tiers and has failed to convince record producers to get on board with a $7.99 all you can eat plan. Meanwhile, Rdio has opened fire with its own less expensive streaming plan called “Rdio Select,” according to a report from Buzzfeed.
The new service is cheaper than the competition, at $3.99 a month, but offers limited downloads from the company’s library of songs. In fact, Rdio Select will give you the ability to download up to 25 songs each day, along with ad-free Pandora-like streaming radio stations.
Anthony Bay, Rdio’s CEO, told BuzzFeed that 25 tracks amounted to “more than most users download in a day, so we feel it’s enough.” The small number of downloads also allows Rdio to license the product cheaply enough to keep the price at four dollars a month.
Bay used an airline metaphor to describe the need for the service, saying, “We’ve all been flying airplanes that had business class only. There is no coach.” Keeping that same metaphor, will ad-free radio stations and 25 downloads a day be enough for the plan to take off? I think it might be.
The new service has one huge benefit, and that is the lack of advertisements or skip limits in the streaming radio stations. A subscription to Pandora One will set you back $4.99 each month, and while the paid service gives you more skips, you are still limited to the number of times you can hit that fast forward button and move on to the next track. With Rdio Select, you can skip as much as you want.
The coolest thing about Rdio Select, though, is that it allows you to download up to 25 songs to your device for offline listening. It’s like Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library, but for songs. Other streaming music services offer similar features, but none at a price that is less than Pandora One. I think this feature, along with the ad-free listening experience and the ability to skip as much as you want, will help Rdio Select give Spotify and others a run for their money.