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Invasion of the radio snatchers

Spotify, Rdio heading to Australia

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Global digital music subscription players Spotify and Rdio will be rocking their way to Australian shores in coming months.

The entry of Sweden’s Spotify to the Australian market has been one of the worst kept secrets in the music industry, with Spotify representatives courting carriers such as Telstra and Optus for months.

DMG CEO Cathy O'Connor confirmed to The Register yesterday that Spotify was entering the market. “Spotify is also coming to Australia, we know that. We are unsure how big the market will be but we know that it will prosper here,” she said

Personalised music recommendation systems are viewed by large in the radio broadcasting community as a way of growing traditional radio audiences, not diminishing them.

“In my view broadcast radio and internet radio will co-exist in the future. Wherever internet radio is growing-like in the UK with Spotify- traditional radio audiences also continue to grow. People will move to internet radio, that is certain but equally they will move to broadcast radio if the content is good,” O’Connor said.

While Spotify has yet to officially confirm the opening of an Australian office, it is currently advertising extensively for local staff. The company is hiring staff for offices across APAC which include Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney.

The Sydney based positions include Label Relations Manager, Human Resources manager, Finance and Business Development director. The local office is anticipated to open for business over the Australian Summer.

Meanwhile rival US music subscription provider Rdio, started by the founders of Skype Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, has earmarked expansion to Australia and New Zealand in early 2012.

The start-up, which launched in August 2010 in North America, is going global by partnering with local carriers or ISPs and will launch in Brazil this week followed by Germany and Australia in early 2012.

Spotify has been steadily building market share through Europe boasting around 10 million registered d customers and moved to the US earlier this year. Spotify claims 1.6 million paying subscribers across seven countries in Europe, while Rdio has been coy on sharing user stats. ®

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