It’s easy to forget now, but the first real music streaming service to arrive in America was Rdio. Like its founders, Skype billionaires Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, Rdio was awkwardly spelled and a little hard to pronounce.
When it arrived in August 2010, the smartphone era was young enough that the company offered a $5 web-only streaming plan (on the assumption you might not have a mobile device) and a BlackBerry app (in case you had a bad one).
The company’s catalog was limited to 7 million songs, well short of the 30 million tracks that it and its rivals now provide. From the start, Rdio had more product sense than business sense, and its cautious approach to growth and marketing would ultimately spell its doom.
We used Rdio heavily for a couple years until Spotify came to Canada. We quickly cancelled our Rdio membership and moved to Spotify and have been there since.