Rdio launches new $3.99 ‘Select’ monthly streaming plan with a catch

BY Killian Bell

Published 14 May 2015

The Rdio app on iPhone

Rdio has confirmed plans to launch a new monthly streaming service priced at just $3.99. Aimed at users who don’t want to pay for the regular $9.99 a month plan, the new Rdio Select service will offer ad-free radio with unlimited skips, but there will be restrictions on how many tracks users can choose to play.

Rdio is thought to be preparing itself for increased competition from competitors as Apple gears up to launch its own music streaming service, Spotify moves into video, and Jay Z looks to revamp Tidal with exclusive content and celebrity backings.

At just $3.99 a month, Select gives users access to ad-free music at a price that much lower than the industry standard, but it comes with some limitations. While users can listen to radio stations as much as they like — and enjoy unlimited skips — they can only listen to 25 songs of their choosing each day.

“Subscribers will be able to download the 25 songs and replace some or all (or none) of them each day, so long as the number doesn’t exceed 25,” BuzzFeed explains.

According to Rdio CEO Anthony Bay, 25 songs “is more than most users download in a day,” so the company feels the limit is adequate. Without it, Rdio wouldn’t be able to licence Select and keep the price below $3.99 without losing money, Bay said.

Rdio will be hoping Select can boost its subscriber base, which is thought to be significantly smaller than that of Spotify. But one thing Rdio doesn’t offer is a free, ad-based listening option, which is what attracts many new users to music streaming services.

Select is available now in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa, and you can sign up from your Mac or iOS device.