South Africa’s already bustling streaming audio space has just gotten even busier thanks to new paid offerings from streaming service Rdio. The service launched in South Africa in 2013 with its free, ad-supported streaming Internet radio service and a basic paid service. Now the company has added Rdio Select, a R25/month subscription service that offers ad-free streaming and the option to select and store up to 25 tracks offline. These 25 tracks can be updated once a day.
Rdio Select is available for a 60-day free trial (for now) and works on iOS and Android handsets, Mac and Windows computers, and on Chromecast, Roku, and Sonos devices. Those looking to store more content online can opt for Rdio Unlimited for R60/month, which allows users to store as many tracks as they like offline.
Rdio’s stations are compiled from its catalogue of over 35 million tracks. Users can create their own stations based on particular artists or genres, or from the company’s human-curated stations. The service also offers a station called You FM which is compiled according to your listening history.
The company is also launching a range of curated 10-song playlists, including Danny K’s “90’s R&B Classics” and Kabelo’s “Top Ten”, with new playlists to be added weekly.
Rdio also offers a subscription packaged called Unlimited Family, which ranges in price from R90/month for two Rdio Unlimited accounts to R180/month for five Rdio Unlimited accounts.
The service faces tough competition in the local market from existing players Simfy Africa, Deezer and Rara, each of which offer similar pricing and had substantial head starts. We won’t be at all surprised if Rdio follows in the footsteps of its rivals by doing a deal with a mobile network or ISP in coming months to encourage uptake of Rdio Select.