After Spotify acquired The Echo Nest earlier this year, rival music streaming service Rdio had to ditch the music data platform as it didn’t want to share data with competitors. Now Rdio has acquired curation service TastemakerX to boost music discovery for its listeners, coming up against Spotify which has said it wanted to use The Echo Nest to build “the best user experience and music discovery engine for millions of global fans.”
San Francisco-based TastemakerX was founded in 2011 to let listeners discover new music, build and listen to their collections of their favorite artists, as well as browse other artists based on social discovery. Rdio will be absorbing the entire startup’s team as well, including former CEO and co-founder Marc Ruxin, as well as another co-founder Sandro Pugilese.
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Other than the TastemakerX acquisition, Rdio is also stepping up efforts to boost its catalog of music as it seeks to offer its listeners “every song ever recorded, on any device, anywhere in the world, instantly” — with the hiring of Jim Rondinell, who will become the company’s new senior vice president of content licensing and catalog acquisition. Rdio also has plans to add a programming voice and radio experience to its product line-up, as it hired former Slacker employee Mat Bates as head of radio and programming.
These product improvements in the pipeline come as Rdio has been aggressively building up its overseas presence — it is now available in 60 countries after having added nine new countries across Europe and Asia in May. It also acquired troubled Indian music streaming service Dhingana in March, and there are plans to launch Rdio India later this year. With its large population and, in turn, a big market of potential music-listeners, India is a valuable addition to Rdio’s business.
However, Rdio is coming up against a series of strong competitors other than Spotify. Apple confirmed its $3 billion acquisition of Beats earlier this year, while Amazon just launched its own music streaming service offering ad-free access to over one million songs.