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Skype founders take second shot at web music service

Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have launched an online service that sells monthly music subscriptions.

Rdio, based in San Francisco, is the entrepreneurial pair's second attempt at broadening the market for digital music, according to US reports.

Zennstrom and Friis previously founded music-sharing website Kazaa, which settled litigation with the music industry in 2006.

The new Rdio service sells subscriptions of between $4.99 and $9.99 a month, depending on the device used, to access more than five million songs.

Rdio uses applications to make the service available on Apple's iPhone and Research In Motion's Blackberry, according to the service's website.

The service will include social features that let users read each other's reviews, browse other people's music collections, and follow information about their favourite bands.

Zennstrom and Friis believe the download model is going away and consumers will move to collections of songs that reside on remote servers, rather than on a user's computer or other device.

Analysts have said Rdio will have to create a unique experience to differentiate itself from competitors.

They have also speculated that Apple will start a subscription service using steaming technology acquired through buying Lala in December to complement its iTunes store that sells music downloads.


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