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Rara and Rdio take on Aus music industry

Digital radio players turn it up to 11

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The Australian radio industry is enjoying an international invasion of digital music streaming upstarts, with the launch of Omnifone backed Rara.com and the music project from the Skype founding crew, Rdio.

As revealed by El Reg in November, a slew of digital radio outfits were hitching rides down under, with Spotify hiring staff and rival US music subscription provider Rdio, started by digital entrepreneurs Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, flagging their intention to head to Australia and New Zealand in early 2012.

“Australia has a unique, thriving music culture that boasts a wealth of music artists across all genres” said Drew Larner, Rdio CEO said in a statement. “We believe Australians will be extremely excited about discovering new local and international music and accessing their digital music collections through any platform they want.”

Rdio launched simultaneously in Australian and New Zealand on Friday with monthly subscriptions are priced at $AU8.90 for net-only access via Windows and Mac desktop apps or $AU12.90 for unlimited access via Rdio's mobile and web applications including offline access, on iPhone and iPod Touch, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, iPad, and Sonos (coming soon to Kobo Vox).

Unlimited access to the service through its iPad app is priced at Australian $AU20.99.

Rdio is currently offering Australians a seven-day free trial subscription at www.rdio.com. In both Australia and New Zealand Rdio has partnered with wireless music systems provider Sonos to offer the service.

"Our goal at Sonos is to provide music lovers with access to all the music on the planet," said John MacFarlane, CEO, Sonos. "By continually adding innovative services like Rdio to the experience, Sonos customers will be able to discover and enjoy unlimited music possibilities in any room of their home."

Rdio entered Brazil late last year and most recently Germany.

Meanwhile Rara.com, a new global player, launched last December in 16 territories including the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden. Along with this week’s launch in Australia, it has also rolled out in Canada and Singapore.

Pricing starts at $AU0.99 for the first three months followed by a monthly fee of $AU7.99 for online access. Mobile access on Android smartphones is $AU2.99 per month for the first three months then Australian $AU12.99 per month. ®

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