Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Rdio launched its on-demand music streaming service today in Mexico, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Austria, increasing its total coverage to 24 countries worldwide.
New users can sign up for the free version, which offers six months of ad-free streaming on the Web, straight away. After that point, however, they’ll need to sign up to one of the paid tiers in order to continue using the service.
Rdio has also announced today that its free Web offer is now available in Brazil. This is notable given that the country is Rdio’s third biggest market, as well as its fastest growing territory in regards to new users.
Drew Larner, CEO of Rdio, said the company was now developing “smarter tools” to help users discover new artists and songs tailored to their tastes and listening history.
“By opening the social circle to seven new international markets, we’re making Rdio an increasingly global way to play, discover, and share music,” he added.
Launched in 2010, Rdio offers on-demand access to over 18 million songs. The firm competes with a range of other independent services, such as Spotify, Deezer and Rhapsody, as well as Microsoft’s Xbox Music and Sony’s Music Unlimited offerings.
Users in the United States have had access to Rdio’s free, zero ads version since 2011. Although the amount of streaming is limited each month, it appears to have been a successful way of drawing in new users and transitioning them to the various paid, subscription tiers.
Rdio finally launched its free model in other countries last January, covering listeners in the UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
Brazil and Germany were the only two regions to miss out on the offer, although with today’s announcement that figure has been reduced to just one.
At the time, the company said: “Rdio’s focus is to continuously advance their product and features across all of their active territories. However, availability and timeliness of features and offers is sometimes determined by their partners. Rdio will continue rolling out new features and offers across Rdio territories as they become available.”
Spotify is arguably its most pressing competition at the moment. The company opened up the beta version of its browser-based Web player for users in the UK last week, confrming a full release for later this year. That functionality has been a key differentiator for Rdio until now, given that it was accessible on almost any platform including Chrome OS and Linux.
Rdio, meanwhile, updated its native iOS app with a fresh design and two new features – long presses and badges – in February, making navigation simpler and more intuitive.
Image Credit: LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images
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