Luke McGee

Spotify Rival Rdio Launches In The UK

Posted: 04/05/2012 09:24 Updated: 04/05/2012 09:30

The internet nearly exploded earlier this week when Spotify finally unveiled their long awaited iPad app.

The new apps means that Spotify's premium customers can finally do whatever it was they were unable to do on their smartphone and desktop versions of the software.

Basking in its own glory and enjoying an entire afternoon of Twitter trending, the last thing Spotify would have been thinking of was being undermined by a competitor.

Yesterday Rdio - the considerably less-well-known (at least this side of the Atlantic) rival to Spotify - finally became available in the United Kingdom. Don’t feel bad if you missed this or have never even heard of Rdio, as the company behind Rdio bizarrely decided to launch without any kind of announcement or press release.


This probably means we are looking at a soft launch as it’s hard to believe that Atomico, the company behind Rdio which is headed up by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom, would make such an obvious mistake.

Press release or not, it’s here and if enough people here about Rdio, it could cause Spotify one or two problems.

Rdio works on every smartphone you can think of and supports all browsers, meaning that for desktop use there is no need to download an application to access the Rdio library.

But how good is it compared to Spotify?

Rather good, it turns out. The two are pretty evenly matched on virtually every count.

Rdio has a catalogue of over 15 million songs, which is near enough exactly the same as Spotify and without wasting hours of your life, it’s unlikely you are going to be unable to find anything on Rdio that you would want to listen to on Spotify.

On all platforms Rdio is far simpler looking than Spotify. This is a good thing is you are put off by Spotify’s collision of pop-up boxes, colours and social streams.

The features are pretty evenly matched too. If you want to share what you are doing on Facebook or Twitter and make use of Rdio’s social features you can. The new releases and other ‘discover’ features are arguably more pleasant to use than Spotify’s, appearing simply as a collections of album covers on a grid, rather than sliding galleries and flashing graphics.

It’s also virtually impossible to tell the two apart cost wise, with Rdio currently standing at £4.99 a month for web only use (exactly the same as Spotify’s desktop only package, Unlimited) and £9.99 a month for use across multiple platforms, which can be used in offline mode.

Quick Poll

Would you use Spotify alternative, Rdio?


So, what separates the two? Very little, although one of the most satisfying moments of signing up for Rdio is when you realise that having a Facebook account isn’t a non-negotiable condition, as it has become for Spotify. Rdio is also is known in America for having a deeper catalogue of critically acclaimed music.

Whilst many of you reading this will already be Spotify subscribers, Rdio is currently available for a seven day free trial, so if you have started to find the endless extensions, apps and new features of Spotify a bit of a pain - here is an alternative.

Sign up to Rdio by visiting their website. Details for their smartphone apps can be found here.

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See the news photos of the day below.

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  • A coin featuring the Roman God Vulcan from the "Stronger" set of coins from The Royal Mint's London 2012 Gold Series commemorative coin range, which is a set of nine coins crafted in 22 carat gold and are inspired by the Olympic motto Faster, Higher, Stronger. The Stronger set is the third and last in the series to launch and features Roman Gods Mars - god of war, Vulcan - god of Fire and Minerva, goddess of war. They are the only UK coins from The Royal Mint's London 2012 Commemorative Coin range to feature the iconic Olympic rings. Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA Wire

  • Detail of designs for a test section of a pixellated portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, made out of cakes, at Konditor and Cook, in the City of London.The finished portrait made up of 3,120 cakes, one for each week of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, will be displayed in Battersea Park, London, on June 3, 2012, at the Diamond Jubilee festival. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

  • Tommy Lee Jones, a cast member in the upcoming film "Men in Black 3," points a prop gun at photographers before dropping it into a time capsule from the film, during a photo call in Beverly Hills, Calif.Cast members and the film's director Barry Sonnenfeld dropped props, costume pieces and memorabilia from the film franchise into the time capsule, which will travel across the country before being locked away in a NASA storage facility for 43 years. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

  • Tunnock the three week old Meerkat fits inside a tea cup after being weighed by keeper Anna Keen at Blair Drummond Safari Park using her favourite biscuit as balancing weights. Tunnock weighed the same weight as four Tunnock tea cakes(96g). He is one of four Meerkats born recently, with the other ones being triplets. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

  • Yves Rossy, known as the Jetman, jumps from a helicopter over Rio de Janiero, Brazil, The Swiss aviator dropped from the helicopter and deployed the Jet powered carbon-kevlar Jetwing, which he uses his body to steer, as he flew over the city before landing on Copacabana beach. (AP Photo/Joe Parker, Breitling)

  • Current Mayor of London Boris Johnson poses for photographs with his wife Marina Johnson after casting his vote in the election for the next Mayor of London on May 3, 2012 in London, England. Recent opinion polls place the incumbent Mayor of London Mr Johnson ahead of his nearest challenger, the former Mayor Ken Livingstone, in his bid to secure a second term in office. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • Joost Luiten of The Netherlands plays a shot during the first round of the Open de Espana at Real Club de Golf de Sevilla on May 3, 2012 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

  • A cockchafer or may bug is pictured on a blossom in Hanover, Germany, May bugs feed on leaves of various broad-leafed trees, particularly oaks. The bugs fly around between the end of April and the middle of June. Photo: HOLGER HOLLEMANN