When it comes to music streaming services, we're pretty spoilt for choice – but a new web and mobile service dubbed Rara.com reckons there's room for one more. However, unlike the current smattering of music services like Spotify, this new service is gunning for that part of the mass market who aren't tech savvy, who don't know how to download or stream music and who have never taken that step into the digital music age. Rara chief Rob Lewis reckons the existing services all cater to the same demographic, card-carrying members of the tech in-crowd.
Powered by Omniphone and launching in 15 countries, Rara hopes to capture the attention of this untouched 80 per cent of the mass market with a simple, graphically rich and interactive user interface, accessed via the web or a dedicated Android app. The app uses patented Network Aware Mobile Streaming tech, giving mobile users the advantage of cached playlists – so your most listened to tracks will be available offline. And because it uses the AAC+ codec, users are guaranteed speedy streaming that won't chomp on large amounts of data to lessen the impact on your monthly limit.
We're told Rara is currently waiting for the official nod on its iOS and Windows Phone 7 apps, as well integration with home entertainment and in-car systems, plus Blu-ray players.
So with its sights set squarely on this apparently largely untouched side of the mass market, Rara aims to move away from an "excel spreadsheet-style layout" and provide a simple experience that even your granny could use. Playlists will be created by its editorial team and a selection of guest artists, starting with Frou Frou's Imogen Heap.
Its secret weapon, though, or what Rara is hoping will be the real incentive to sign up will be the pricing. Unlike Spotify, there's no freebies. Instead it'll cost you 99p for the first three months, or £1.99 if you want to opt in for the mobile caching service for access to 10 million tracks from the four major players, alongside a bunch of indie labels. Once the three months is up, that price rises to a monthly fee of £5 per month for the standard offline service or £10 if you want caching.
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