Subscription music service Rdio has just jumped into the Internet radio space to threaten services like Pandora and iTunes Radio, by making its personalized Stations feature free on its iOS and Android apps for listeners in the US, Canada and Australia.
If you’re looking to play specific songs or albums, you’ll still need to subscribe to a plan, but updates to Rdio’s mobile apps coming later today will add unlimited listening to virtual radio stations based on genres, personal taste, artists and songs.
New Rdio users signing up on mobile will have access to the company’s on-demand music selection during a 14-day trial before switching over to free stations after the trial ends. Rdio is also announcing new playlist and album stations today, as well as the option to share personalized stations on social media or with other Rdio users.
Rdio revamped its Stations offering in August, adding personalized You FM and Friend FM stations powered by The Echo Nest. Last week, the company supplemented the feature with station recommendations.
With its new free station offering, Rdio puts itself on equal footing with other free services, while also gaining a chance to convert users over to its subscription plans. The firm’s Web-only plan costs $4.99 a month, while unlimited on-demand streaming on Web, mobile, Sonos and Roku costs $9.99.
Rdio should have additional free options coming later this year. The company recently signed a deal with radio operator Cumulus Media that will see the two collaborate on an ad-supported version of its service.
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