Roku and Rdio make beautiful music with remote control, billing integration

Roku plus rdio

Rdio may not be the most popular streaming music service, but it’s about to get a lot more familiar to Roku users.

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The new Rdio button on the Roku controller.

The two companies have partnered to make Rdio the preferred streaming music option on the Roku Streaming Stick, Roku 3 set-top box, and Roku TVs. These devices will now ship with an Rdio button built into the remote control—taking the spot once held by Blockbuster—and will install the Rdio app by default during the set-up process.

A subscription won’t be required to use Rdio on Roku’s platform, as Rdio’s ad-supported Internet radio stations will be available for free. That’s a big distinguishing factor from streaming music heavyweight Spotify, which requires a $10 per month Spotify Premium subscription to use its Roku app.

Rdio does have a similar $10 per month subscription service, which lets users listen to any song or album on demand. Through the end of the year, Rdio is offering two free months of this service with for free any Roku device purchase, and subscribers can set up direct billing through their Roku accounts.

Why this matters: Rdio is hardly the first streaming music service to land on Roku, but it’s the first to get this level of integration and its own remote control button. While Rdio has always lived in the shadow of larger services like Spotify and Rhapsody, but it’s often seen as a critical darling for its top-notch design. Perhaps the Roku partnership can get more people to see the light.

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