Rdio. La musica è di tutti

Ho già avuto modo di parlarvi di Rdio nel recente passato. Continuo ad apprezzare il servizio a oltre due mesi di distanza dalla prima prova. Dopo l’apertura di Spotify negli Stati Uniti ho deciso di fare qualche domanda a chi in Rdio ci lavora e si deve confrontare con leggi e normative che regolano il mondo della musica online.

A rispondermi, Marisol Segal, Executive Director of Content and Marketing. Le idee sembrano molto chiare sulla direzione che la compagnia sta prendendo, molta importanza ai mercati locali e focus sulla natura sociale del servizio.

L’Italia ad oggi, Grooveshark a parte, sembra essere ancora tagliata fuori per questioni burocratiche legate ai diritti di streaming detenuti dalle case discografiche. Come sottolinea Marisol, solo chi ha un networking importante di conoscenze alle spalle, può superare questi ostacoli. I fondatori di Rdio sono gli stessi di Skype.

Where the idea of Rdio is coming from?

Rdio was created with social music discovery in mind. Our focus is not only on creating a great user experience, but on giving our users a fun and easy way to discover, share and play music whenever they want seamlessly across devices.

Which is the main difference in comparison to the other similar music services people can find online?

One of Rdio's key differentiators is its unique social design that emulates the way music has always been shared—from person to person. Rdio subscribers build and share their online music collections from a catalogue of close to 9 million songs, and can see the listening activity, collections and playlists of other Rdio users including friends, people with similar musical taste, recording artists, record labels and other influencers.  Rdio can also help you decide what to play next with Artist Rdio Stations and recommendations based on music you've previously played.

Additionally Rdio is available in the US and is one of the few companies of its kind to available in Canada. We’ve built a great service that just gets better every day.  We’re happy with our progress and confident about competing in the marketplace. We also believe we have the DNA and relationships with music labels through our founders (who also founded Skype) to grow our business into a global music service.

Which is your planning to expand your business abroad?  In particular in Italy?

Italy is an important market for us and we definitely have plans in the works to be a global music service, but are not able to discuss specifics at this time. Stay tuned for exciting updates about our expansion in the near future.

What people should expect from Rdio in the near future?

We’ll be releasing an iPad app as soon as Apple approves it, and will have more news about different access models in the near future.  We are laser focused on the sole task of designing the best global music service on the market.

Rdio, as a lot of other online music streaming services, has some restrictions in term of licensing for some Countries as well as songs. Could you please explain how that works?

Digital music licenses are obtained from the music labels, publishing companies, and performing rights organizations that handle artist royalty payment and streaming rights on a case by case basis. These organizations are different for every country, so in order to set up a service in a new country one must renegotiate all the rights to stream every song available to that country. It’s a slow and challenging process that only those with lots of experience and connections can be successful at. Fortunately we’ve got that in spades so you can expect to see our service launch in more countries in the near future.

How do you perceive the competition in this field? Do you think that the online streaming of music is the right way for the future development of the music listening?

We’re confident that Rdio’s service will stand up to the competition as we believe we have the best team, technology, design and approach to music online and on the go.

Subscription models have been around for a long time and have a history of success. Look at cable and satellite TV. These examples show that people are willing to pay for subscriptions if they see the value in the way the content is presented. Take Netflix for example – granted movies and music are different, but the rising growth of Netflix is being driven by the online streaming portion of their business. This demonstrates that people are ready for a subscription model where content is available on demand.

We believe that the music industry is at an inflection point and it’s the proliferation of mobile handsets – specifically smartphones – as listening devices that is driving demand and growth of cloud-based music services.

You ask your listeners to contribute by sending the list of songs/artists that is missing in your catalogue. Which is the frequency of updating of it? And how much these suggestions are taken in consideration?

Our catalog has quickly grown to over 10 million songs and we're adding new songs every day. We take the suggestions from our users very seriously and are working full-time on licensing new catalogs for our service.