Feeds

Skype founders unveil Spotify clone

Streaming music. iPhone app. Recommendations. Zzzz

High performance access to file storage

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.®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.