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An Online Jukebox Makes Music a Social Experience

Forget buying CDs or even downloading MP3s. With Rdio's streaming service, music moves from a purchase decision to a social experience.

This story appears in the May 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If the founders of online jukebox service Rdio (pronounced ar-dee-oh) are right, the concept of an individual music collection is a thing of the past. "Look at what's happened with Netflix," says Rdio CEO Drew Larner. "The same shift is going to happen in music--and faster." The future of music is streaming, Larner says, thanks to faster broadband access, the proliferation of smartphones and consumer acceptance of on-demand content.

Founded in 2010, Rdio joins other music streaming services (Rhapsody, MOG, Apple and Pandora, to name a few), but adds a twist: The service is built around a social experience that helps consumers discover music organically. They "follow" friends and influencers and get a live network activity feed, and they share playlists on Facebook and Twitter--which features an embedded Rdio player in its user interface when you click on an @Rdio link. (There's an API for developers.)

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