Pandora picks up failing Rdio for $75 million

by: Christopher LoranNovember 17, 2015
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Remember the last time you and your friends all gathered around and listened to Rdio together? No? Well, that’s because the plucky upstart company is filing for bankruptcy after failing to snag a winning percentage of the music streaming market.

There’s silver lining aplenty for this raincloud, however. Digital music streaming titan Pandora has scooped up Rdio’s technological and personnel assets for a cool $75 million. This looks like it’s going to be good news for Pandora fans everywhere, because Rdio let its users do a handful of things Pandora users still cannot. Streaming a specific album, for instance, is a capability that has long lingered outside of Pandora’s grasp due to copyright issues.

For a while there, Rdio was going head-to-head with leading music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora. They were an underdog song for quite some time, but 2015 showed them finally signing over the farm. Things looked bleak for Rdio, but after filing for bankruptcy, Pandora showed up with a wallet full of cash, ready to incorporate Rdio’s features into its own.

Virgin Mobile music streamingSee also: Virgin Mobile announces data-free music streaming for Pandora, Slacker Radio and iHeartRadio15

Changes like this can take quite a bit of time, however. Pandora isn’t slated for a major update to their service model until late 2016. The problem is that this particular marketplace is evolving at a rapid pace. Services like Spotify and Pandora are dominating, but other services like Google Play Music are also arising as competition. By the time late 2016 rolls around, will the changes Pandora brings to its service through the implementation of Rdio’s technology be enough to keep it in the game?

It’s an interesting competition to watch, but as consumers we are all part of this engagement. So what music streaming service do you use? I’m a Google Music fanatic all the way. Pandora drove me away with ads, but I’m not opposed to coming around if they start bringing a better user experience to their app. How about you? Where do you get your music and why do you prefer it to any competitors?

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  • smokebomb

    Still don’t understand why renting music is attractive. Pay for the album, upload it to Google music, done. The artists don’t get (as) screwed and you are free to stream your music without a monthly cost.

    • JosephHindy

      Three reasons
      1. People are cheap and don’t want to buy albums.

      2. People are greedy and will just steal it if it’s not made available to them for free.

      3. Because “internet radio stations” help people continue to be lazy.

  • Mitchell Rome Nabors II

    Personally I’m content with streaming only because its evolved in a generation where you can do it beyond your phone. I enjoy Google Play Music & have since day 1 when it was $7.99. Since then, its catered to me when there are times you can’t buy the albums or mixtapes. I streered away from Pandora because i have specific interests; albums that aren’t available, or at least to my knowledge, because you can’t see the library. GPM now incorporates YouTube & music i do download can be uploaded to be in my library for anytime listening. Great value for my investment

  • Keith Taylor

    I buy my physical CD from Amazon with autorip..it goes to my tablet with Amazon player and Google player automatically copies it…I love it.

  • TwoBit Gary

    Hopefully this helps Pandora. When I don’t listen to podcasts, I use Pandora. It’s the only service I’ve tried, in the free tiers, that will random play over all my stations. I have 30 or so stations so I get a good mix of what I like. With Google you can only get a random set of songs from one station at a time. Spotify seemed like you had to add each song into a playlist first and I did not like the app much. So for me I’ll stick with Pandora as my prime then Google as a backup. You mention ads, GPM has ads on the free tier as well. The ads on Pandora aren’t that bad, I get maybe 1 ad per 10 songs? The app does have banner type ads, but with my phone in my pocket and my headphones on, I never see them unless I need to thumb a song.