Skype founders launch music service

Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have launched Rdio, a new music streaming website for US and Canadian customers.

Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have launched Rdio, a new music streaming website for US and Canadian customers.

The website features a catalog of 7 million tracks that users can access via smartphone or computer for $9.99 per month. Web-only without the option of offline listening costs $4.99.

The service, which opened Tuesday after a period of beta testing, competes with existing music streaming sites such as Rhapsody, MOG, and Grooveshark.

Global music sales have dropped 30% since 2004 and illegal downloads account for almost all songs heard online. Accordingly, record labels are supporting streaming services: EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, and several independent labels have signed deals with Rdio.

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