Feeds

Skype founders unveil Spotify clone

Streaming music. iPhone app. Recommendations. Zzzz

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have unveiled their latest venture, Rdio, for specially invited beta testers.

It ticks most of the boxes for a generic 'access model' music service: streaming music, a buy option, a 'cloud' locker service for your songs, mobile clients for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, and integration with social networks Facebook and Twitter. Are you still awake? Good - there's also a subscription plan, which will be available for between $5 and $10 a month.

It's a crowded market, with Rhapsody and Pandora well established in the US, and more recent players such as We7 and Spotify have entered the market. Google and Apple are tipped to enter the space too.

The founders believe they can differentiate themselves through Rdio's social networking features. But the opposite is probably true: every service now has social networking features. A more persuasive differentiator might be 'Think For Yourself', where you can make up your own mind, based on the music, and free from unwanted opinion.

According to reports, it's backed by Friis and Zennstrom's own venture capital fund, and is a much more modest affair than their last venture, employing around 23 staff. They picked up the Rdio.com domain name for a mere $5,000.

Their last venture, Joost, employed 150 staff when it was unveiled. The P2P TV company hyped what it called a farm of "Long Tail Servers", but it desperately needed professional content, and TV companies weren't impressed by the advertising pitch. Joost officially went titsup last October.

Zennstrom and Friis rose to notoriety thanks to Kazaa, a poor knock off of Gnutella, written by Estonians and bought in. They founded Skype in 2003, wrapping open protocols in a proprietary offering, and sold it to eBay two years later for $2.6bn. The pair bagged $530m from the deal.

eBay later acknowledged it massively overpaid for the company; it could have connected buyers and sellers using free VoIP calls for a fraction of the cost. eBay divested itself of the acquisition, but before it could get rid of the albatross completely there was another unpleasant surprise.

eBay had forgotten to license the core proprietary technology it thought it had acquired in the deal. Zennstrom and Friis sued successfully last year.®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.