Rdio is readying its plans to launch a referral programme for artists, rewarding them if they become the conduit for fans to subscriber to the streaming music service. The plans were teased a few months ago, but still haven’t launched. “We are hoping to get it out there officially with a big announcement in the coming months,” CEO Drew Larner tells Music Ally.
Such a scheme could be controversial if labels feel threatened by the idea of Rdio paying artists directly – a similar initiative by Audible in the audiobooks world caused an almighty rumpus with some book publishers earlier in the year. Larner says it’s not a threat though.
“This is not about trying to disintermediate the relationship between artists and labels at all. It is just saying to artists that we will compensate them for bringing us users and for the more users they bring us they will make more money directly on that; but they will also build a bigger subscriber base who are more likely to listen to their music on Rdio.”
Streaming services forging more partnerships with artists – whether through referrals, apps, live showcases or merchandise/ticketing links – is going to be an important trend over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, in separate news, Rdio is now live in Norway. Larner says it hopes to be in 20-25 countries by the middle of 2013.
The full Drew Larner interview can be found here for Music Ally subscribers.