Rdio is expanding, too

3042.jpgSpotify is getting a lot of attention this week, thanks to a splashy media event in its New York office. Even in this post, purportedly about another company, Spotify gets the first two sentences.

Anyway, part of Spotify’s three-part announcement yesterday, and perhaps the least-discussed part, is its expansion to new countries, bringing its list of Spotify-enabled nations to 55. (Spotify has now been mentioned four times in this piece. Five.) Quietly, Rdio (there!) announced that its global footprint has expanded, adding 22 countries to a total of 51 national markets.

The international race is all about distribution and size-of-audience, of course, just as with the race to the digital car dashboard. To operate in any country, a music service must be compliant with national compulsory licensing regulations, or hammer out proprietary agreements with music owners for the right to play music to different national audiences. In observing the international footprint of each music service, you can get an idea of the strategy which governs cost and revenue equations. Pandora, as an example, is unavailable in all of Europe,  and South America (everywhere outside of the U.S. except for Australia and New Zealand, in fact), and concentrates its business plan on accruing a large share of the listener and advertiser market in the U.S.

Rdio has withstood a bumpy ride recently, switching CEOs and laying off a portion of its staff. The company said after the layoffs that it was positioning for future scaling. Well, it just scaled.

Brad Hill