Spotify Rival Rdio Launches In The UK

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.

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.


See the news photos of the day below.