announced today that it's taking down the paywall around its Web-based streaming service.It hasn't even been three months since Spotify launched in the United States, but the freemium music streaming service is certainly having an impact on its competition. Rdio, one of those competitors,
The move comes three weeks after MOG, another popular music service, did the same. Both Rdio and MOG still charge for unlimited access and for the ability to stream music from one's smartphone or tablet. Listening to music in the browser, however, is free.
Rdio's Web listening experience doesn't include advertisements, but there are some limitations to the new free account tier. Listeners can only a stream a limited amount of music each month. A meter located at the top of free users' profiles will show much free music is left.
Spotify, which has been hugely popular in Europe for a few years, made a big splash when it launched in the United States in July. At that time, Rdio and MOG were both pay services, starting at $5 per month. Spotify, on the other hand, launched with a free, albeit somewhat limited, version of its service, forcing existing competitors to rethink their pricing plans.
The move also comes just two weeks before the release of Apple's iCloud content sycning feature and iTunes Match, a "cloud locker" for music similar to initiatives launched by Amazon and Google. Although Apple's new initiatives are somewhat different from the all-you-can-stream subscription services like Rdio and Spotify, the prospect of a tech giant launching a music service is something worth keeping an eye on for smaller startups, especially when that tech giant has already had a substantial impact on the music industry.