With the launch of the popular music streaming service Spotify in the US today, Canadians have been once again left out in the cold. Sort of. While Spotify has been getting a lot of notice, Rdio already has a large amount of Canadian users and very well could wind up being the streaming and subscription based service of choice in The Great White North — even after other services decide to test the waters.
Rdio has always looked at Canada as a big part of the service, and Drew Larner, CEO of Rdio made it clear that the service’s mandate to deliver to Canada has been there since its launch. And the growth has been strong, cemented by the company’s recent partnership with telecom giant Telus to become its official mobile subscription service.
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“When we launched, that was part of our launch– US and Canada off the bat,” Larner explains. “We’ve done a lot of outreach and the announcement of our deal with Telus. I think it’s a great indicator of how serious we are about the Canadian market and wanting to bring Rdio to the masses up there for people who love music.”
“…in terms of Canada, our long term aim is to be available in every country. We know just how passionate Canadian music fans are but we don’t have any immediate plans to launch there.”
Whether or not this has to do with the market size of Canada, or the hurdles to bring content are just too onerous to tackle (since Spotify has been working to get into the American market for years), Rdio has a great opportunity to gain further traction here in Canada. And the press surrounding Spotify’s launch south of the border hasn’t hurt.
“This may sound a little counter-intuitive but they’ve (Spotify) have been sitting out there, they’ve obviously built a big user base in Europe and gotten a lot press but people didn’t really know who they were here (in America),” says Larner. “I think now that they’ve launched…and I think this applies for Apple, Amazon and Google and their cloud-based products as well — we can now line up all these things that have were sort of amorphous to date. It allows us to compare all of the products, and we believe that we’ve built the best product and we welcome the competition.”
Interestingly, in Canada Rdio appears to have no serious competition as of this writing. None of the companies Larner mentioned have brought its cloud-based music services to Canada (with only Apple really allowing for any kind of music service at all in iTunes), which should bode well for Rdio’s future here in Canada. And Rdio may also play a big role in helping Canadians get over its new media envy.