Rdio is launching a new cross-platform feature today called Stations. In what’s becoming a very crowded digital music space, Stations better positions Rdio to compete against other streaming services and compliments their highly successful on-demand service.
Originally a bonus in the Rdio experience, Stations is more than just a re-launch. On top of a pretty awesome looking new player interface, today’s update moves Stations to the forefront alongside Albums and Playlists. It also introduces a wealth of new station types, many unique to Rdio, including a station built just for the user called YouFM.
YouFM is a personalized and adjustable station that incorporates your listening history, track voting, and things such as your Facebook likes and Twitter follows. It’s the perfect mix between songs and artists that you know and have in your own collection, along with new and related songs you may not have heard before, but are glad you did. YouFM pulls music from Rdio’s massive catalogue of over 20 million songs and is a great way to discover new music.
In total, Rdio will now offer ten stations. Some will be familiar for existing Rdio users like Heavy Rotation, which plays the most popular tracks in a user’s network, and Friend Collection, which plays another user’s collection. Outside of YouFM, Rdio is also adding FriendFM, the same as YouFM but played by another user and Genres, which gives users access to over 400 sub-genres to listen to.
Known as a leader in the on-demand space, Rdio’s launch of Stations is their way to break down the barriers they see most of their competitors put up – which divide music listeners between passive lean-back, radio junkies and on-demand, “I know what I want” music fans.
“We don’t see them as two different types of listeners but rather a universe of music fans who may fall somewhere on the spectrum. Just about any music fan will have an appetite for both types of listening,” explained newly appointed VP of Product, Chris Becherer. “We wanted to create an experience that allows for a seamless experience between active listening and passive listening.”
The ability to move between on-demand features and the more lean-back Stations is indeed very smooth and intuitive within the new Rdio. Users listening to their YouFM station who find they like what they hear can add songs to their playlist in just one-click, and toggling between Stations and your own playlists is just as easy as flipping through radio stations on your car.
Becherer told BetaKit that the launch of Stations was a direct reaction to what their users wanted. After surveying their users, they found that 70% used the original stations in Rdio which were not as easy to find. In addition, nearly half of Rdio users were going to another service to get this type of listening experience.
Rdio will be rolling out the new features and interface today for web, iPhone app and Android app users worldwide including Canada. The features will be available for both subscribers and users who take advantage of the six-month free trial.