Rdio takes it to Pandora and Spotify with branded stations

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 10 September 2014

Branded stations, sponsorships and video ads are all likely to be part of the offer for advertisers on music streaming service Rdio's newly launched ad-funded platform.

The platform introduced the free model last week as it bids to capture not only the radio users but those who want an on-demand service.

Currently there are only audio ads on the service but branded stations will feature. Chris Becherer, Rdio senior vice president of product wouldn't rule out sponsored stations and video ads, like the ones launched this week by competitor Spotify. Users will be served with an audio ad every five songs.

“One ad unit you'll start seeing us playing with fairly soon is branded stations, so we're getting a lot of interested all over the place from advertisers who really like the new station experience, they want to be more than just serving ads, they want to have a station presence,” he told AdNews.

While Becherer had nothing specific to announce about video ads he said Rdio is looking at the possibility.

“We're all about design and user experience so we don't want to introduce advertising that would sacrifice the user experience in anyway,” he said.

Becherer told AdNews the introduction of a free to listen model came from a need for a service that provided all the aspects of streaming services currently in market. Previously it was subscriber only.

“The reason we made the changes is because we feel greatly that a service should let you listen how you want,” Becherer said.

“You shouldn't have to go to one service to listen to stations and another to listen to on demand, which is what people are doing right now. Our data and the industry data is showing that in the US, lots of people go to Pandora for radio listening and services like Rdio or Spotify for on-demand listening so we wanted to pair these two experiences together.”

While he remained tight lipped about the number of users in Australia, Becherer said Australia is in Rdio's top five countries when it comes to users.

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