Rdio, as, a music industry insider told me recently, is a bit of an enigma. The Spotify competitor has been chugging along ever since its launch two years ago, quietly rolling out product updates as other players like MOG were making headlines. “They seem to be very heads-down. You don’t really know what those guys are up to,” that insider said.
Rdio CEO Drew Larner laughed when I told him this story during a recent sit-down, but he also made it clear that he wants to change that perception. He wants more people to know about Rdio, and he wants to tell them exactly what makes the service different from the rest. That’s why the San Francisco-based company rolled out a massive ad campaign this fall, with big billboard ads in New York’s Times Square as well as in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The ads feature musicians like Snoop Lion, Santigold & Chromeo, and Larner told me about an interesting twist: Each ad shows artists following other artists – just like Rdio users can follow other users, including some of the artists featured in the ads, on the service. “We have from Day One built our service around social discovery,” said Larner.
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