Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 12:25pm
On-demand music service Rdio is making a big push towards delivering music in a personalized radio style, with its "new and improved" Stations feature.
Many have made the case that while a true on-demand, "pull" service allows listeners maximum flexibility (you simply choose whatever you want to hear), a more "radio-style" presentation makes for an easier "lean back" listening experience, and can introduce a listener to new music relevant to their tastes, couched within familiar favorites. As on-demand music services have evolved their offerings in the past few years, we've seen them paying more attention to improving their radio-style services.
Rdio's new Stations is powered by data from The Echo Nest, which also announced the new service in its blog.
One cool feature is called "You FM." It's a custom stream based on an Rdio user's listening history, song ratings, Facebook likes, Twitter follows -- which is constantly updated as this data changes. It can also be manually customized. Similarly, "Friend FM" uses a listener's Rdio friend's tastes to generate a streaming music stations.
Rdio Stations also offers more than 400 of the traditional genre- (and what it calls "sub-genre") radio stations. Users can also generate stations based on a favorite artist of song (in the Pandora vein). Finally, if a listener chooses to listen to something "on-demand" (say, a full album), the "AutoPlay" radio function will continue to play music similar to the choosen piece after that piece is complete (competitor MOG can do this as well).
All Rdio stations allow users to skip songs, and replay songs as well (this is an on-demand subscription service, after all). But they allow further customization by way of a five-position setting that ranges from "Popular" (well-known songs) to "Adventurous" (deeper cuts). Finally, Rdio is using a "full-screen" takeover for the player, with a very simplified control icons in favor of huge, colorful CD cover images.
In a blog entry, The Echo Nest explains how its data helps power the new Rdio Stations. "We've spent over a decade researching and developing ways to understand Musical Identity. For each person, we develop an individual Taste Profile. To build You FM and Friend FM, Rdio worked closely with The Echo Nest to extend each user’s Taste Profile across the entire world of music, creating a radio representation of your taste, or that of any of your friends."
The Echo Nest CEO Jim Lucchese will moderate a panel at the September 17th RAIN Summit Orlando. More details soon.
Read more from The Echo Nest here; more on Rdio's Stations in Engadget here.