Rdio is a music subscription service created by Skype, Joost, and KaZaa co-founder Janus Friis. The service is now offering listeners in 15 out of the 17 countries that it is available in free access to over 18 million songs in it’s library. Now listeners in the UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden can stream music from the service free.
In the United States, Rdio has listening limits that refresh every month. However Rdio is now giving all of its users free listening for up to 6 months as they test out the new service. Rdio hopes to grow their users base and eventually convert them into paying subscribers by offering this gift.
By crossing into the free music territory, the company will be competing against companies like Pandora, Slacker, and Spotify. Rdio is available on the web and desktop apps for Windows and Macs.
After the 6 month period is done, users that want to continue using Rdio will need to sign up with a subscription plan. There are two options in the United States for subscription. Rdio Web has unlimited web stream and costs $4.99 per month. Rdio Unlimited has unlimited Web, wireless syncing, and mobile streaming with a cost of $9.99 per month.
Two countries that are not participating in the free music service are Brazil and Germany. Launched in 2010, Rdio has raised about $17.5 million in funding from Atomico.