Skype founders turn to radio after running out of Joost
The founders of Skype are launching an internet music service, only days after the UK arm of their web TV venture, Joost, went into administration.
Called Rdio, the new music service looks set to compete head-on with Spotify, allowing users to stream audio to their PC or mobile handset. “We have watched many ad-supported music businesses come and go,” claims Janus Friis, who is launching the service with his long-term colleague Niklas Zennstrom. “We felt the time was right to revisit this space, this time with a compelling offering and a sustainable subscription model.”
We felt the time was right to revisit this space, this time with a compelling offering and a sustainable subscription model
The pair haven’t released any details about the service’s pricing, although they’re entering an increasingly competitive market. Spotify has shot to prominence for its free advertising-based service, although it charges £10 per month for its premium subscription, which provides access to the iPhone and Android apps.
Next week, broadcaster Sky is set to launch its Sky Songs service, which will offer limited downloads and unlimited streaming from £6.49 per month.
The Rdio announcement comes only days after the UK division of Joost – Friis and Zennstrom’s internet television service – was put into liquidation.
Joost won wide acclaim for its innovative and high quality TV streaming service, but was scuppered by the broadcasters’ desire to launch their own video-on-demand services (such as the BBC’s iPlayer and 4onDemand), rather than partner with third parties.
The Skype founders are currently suing former Joost CEO Mike Volpi, amid allegations that he stole trade secrets from the company. Volpi is part of Index Ventures, one of the investors that is attempting to buy Skype from eBay.