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Rdio launches six-month free music streaming offer

Music streaming service Rdio has announced its expansion of free streaming in the UK, aiming to take on the popular Spotify in one of its strongest markets.

Like Spotify, the relaunched Rdio service now lets users stream music for free from a catalogue of over 18 million tracks, through a web browser or through dedicated apps for Windows and OS X. Unlike Spotify, there's no advertising - although the free streaming offer is limited, with new customers receiving a trial before being asked to part with cash in order to continue using the service. The precise limit imposed upon free users hasn't been quantified by Rdio, with the company simply stating that the free streaming allowance should last "up to six months."

These subscriptions have been priced to compete with Spotify, the most obvious of Rdio's competitors: the Rdio Web subscription level provides unlimited streaming through the browser or desktop apps for £4.99 a month, while Rdio Unlimited at £9.99 a month adds support for the company's mobile applications - including the ability to wirelessly synchronise playlists for offline access.

As with Spotify, Rdio offers social streaming services to both free and paid subscribers: users can 'follow' each other to see what their friends are listening to, playlists can be shared and collaborated on, and users are able to link the service to their Facebook and Twitter social networking accounts should they so choose - although this is option, whereas Spotify requires all new users to first have an active Facebook account.

Unlimited streaming services are becoming increasingly common, but Spotify remains the one to beat. With an apparently generous allowance of free streaming and competitively-priced subscription offers, alongside feature-matched mobile apps for those who splash out on the top tier, Rdio may be able to finally start making inroads into the UK market.

The service is available now at Rdio.com.

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