Digital Music Arena – Part 1: Rdio’s Artist Program

During the first few times I posted here I wasn’t quite sure what my theme was going to be for the semester.  I’ve decided to track and provide commentary on what’s going on in the digital music arena, particularly streaming services, applications and websites contending to win over the 21st century attention-deficit music fans who have a million of ways to choose from to access music.  I think this is an important issue to follow because new developments in this arena are happening every day as consumers appear to be shifting more and more away from physical music formats, opting for digital ones.


This first entry is about the streaming service, and their innovative strategy to lure paying customers to their service.

Rdio recently announced the release of their Artist Program, which incites artists to lure new subscribers on to the service by offering artists $10 for every new subscriber.  As Brian Bishop of The Verge remarks, “By paying artists to take advantage of its service, Rdio extends a hand to acts looking for additional revenue streams, and then every link and tweet an artist pushes serves as an advertisement for Rdio itself. It also lays the groundwork for Rdio to become a true social engagement platform in its own right.”

It is too early to tell whether or not the program will be successful in the long run – This will depend on whether or not artists participate in the program and if the practice becomes popular with other artists over time.  Well known artists such as Snoop Dogg, excuse me, Snoop Lion, Scissor Sisters and Chromeo are already participating in the program, however since these artists have a large fan base, it makes sense they would use the program).  It is unclear whether the program is economically viable for the majority of artists without millions of fans, but time will tell….  Any more developments on this program will be covered in future blog entries.

Currently, Rdio’s subscription plans are as follows:

Free plan: Free unlimited streams for 7 day trial

Web Plan 4.99€/month: Unlimited web streaming

Unlimited plan 9.99€/month: Unlimited web + mobile streaming

List of countries Rdio is currently available: