Rdio offers six-month free streaming but how will it fare against the mighty Spotify?

Alex Masters

rdio montage 300x225 Rdio offers six month free streaming but how will it fare against the mighty Spotify?

Rdio, the ad-free music subscription service has extended the length its free trial offer for new International subscribers. Users in the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden can now subscribe to Rdio for free for up to six months before paying for the service.

After the trial has expired users can sign up to one of the Rdio’s monthly paid subscription options. These include ‘Rdio Web’ for £4.99 and ‘Rdio Unlimited’ for £9.99, with the latter supporting mobile access. A family plan is also expected to become available in the future but details are not yet available via Rdio’s premium subscription pages for the UK.

Rdio is accessible via an elegant web based client, but you can also access the service on a multitude of different mobile devices. These include the iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad, as well as Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone devices. For those of us that prefer a native desktop experience, Rdio also provide full-featured native desktop apps for Mac OS X and Windows.

There are currently over 18 million songs available on Rdio. On par with the approximate 20 million songs currently available on Spotify, arguably Rdio’s biggest international competitor.

Many European countries have been enjoying Spotify for a considerable time now, which gives Rdio a bit of an uphill battle when it comes to tempting users over to its alternative service. Especially considering Spotify provides a free ad-supported plan that entitles users to a maximum of 10 hours of music streaming each month. Once the six month Rdio trial expires, you’re not going to receive any ad-supported model going forwards.

When it comes to paid subscriptions both services offer almost identical options here in the UK. Rdio isn’t really providing much of an incentive for existing paid Spotify users to jump ship.

Some users may prefer Rdio’s design which could be all the service needs to persuade users to make the switch from Spotify. Rdio’s web, desktop and mobile apps are simple, intuitive, elegant and very responsive. The difference between the respective designs is like night and day, quite literally in fact. Spotify’s dark grey colour scheme is the polar opposite to that of Rdio’s clean, white, almost Apple-like design.

There are several other streaming music alternatives also worth considering, such as Grooveshark, an ad-supported service with over 15 million songs available to stream via it’s web site. Tesco’s We7 also provides an ad-supported service with a library of around 7 million tracks, which can be purchased as well as streamed via their website and mobile apps. French web-based service Deezer is another excellent alternative to both Spotify and Rdio, with more than 20 million licensed songs available and comparative premium subscription options.

At the end of the day with apps and free trials aside, it’s really all about the music. Selecting the service that best suits you all depends on which service offers the most comprehensive selection of your favourite music.

You can try Rdio for yourselves for six months via their website. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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  • Lola

    It’s six months for free, not six days!

  • Paul Beattie

    There’s one problem with the headline of this post, Rdio launched in the UK in May 2012…

    Today was the launch of their free product which can be used without subscription on a computer, mobile devices are still subscription just like the Spotify model.

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