Rdio Offers Something New to the World of Streaming: Rdio Live

I love the convenience of streaming music services. Twenty-five million songs (and probably more!) are just a couple of finger taps away. To me, that’s sufficiently advanced to make it indistinguishable from magic.

The one gripe I have with streaming–and you’d expect this from a radio guy–is the lack of a real live human element. I’m not talking about human curation; I’m talking about someone actually talking to me about something I care about as I stream music. We’re still not there yet, but Rdio Live will take us a little closer.

CEO Anthony Bay delivered a keynote at RAIN Summit West recently where he described this idea of bringing broadcast radio into the Rdio experience.

He called it “a win-win-win” that benefits broadcasters, advertisers, and listeners. The service, which hasn’t launched yet, will recommend live broadcast stations based on the data Rdio has about a particular listener. The goal is to make that individual’s choices easier by adding more information and personalization to their experience within the application.

RAIN News spoke to Anthony Bay about Rdio Live, which he said would be rolled out during this year. By bringing radio stations into the Rdio experience, Rdio Live will complement the pureplay streaming stations that are algorithmically programmed. To Bay it’s all radio, and he emphasized that, unlike Pandora which explicitly competes with broadcasting for market share and ad revenue, Rdio is not competitively positioned that way. Part of the strategic motivation for building Rdio Live is to offer broadcasters a productive new way to distribute their signals.

“We do not see ourselves as competitors,” he told RAIN News. “We are allies.”

Listen to the keynote here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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