ONLINE MUSIC SERVICE Rara launches today with the aim of picking up all the punters that rivals like Spotify and Last.fm have missed.
The outfit plans to cater for the masses with its web based service that will allow users to stream from a choice of more than 10 million tracks. Rara will go live today in the UK and across Europe with the US and Canada to be added later this week.
Unlike its rivals Rara doesn't offer a free subscription. Instead users will be able to test it out for 99p for the first three months, after which they will have a choice of a £4.99 per month or a £9.99 per month package. The latter adds mobile access and cached offline listening. Rara will be completely advertising free and will not promote any featured content.
Rara believes that existing services cater for only technology savvy music enthusiasts making up 20 per cent of the market. The firm thinks that its simple and graphically rich user interface will appeal to those who are yet to take the plunge into digital music or are scared to install a program on their PC.
It will be curated content focused by associate editors such as musician Imogen Heap creating playlists. This will give it a more radio station feel but users can still search for a listen to specific artists and create their own custom playlists.
Rob Lewis, executive chairman of Omnifone, which runs Rara, said, "The service will be easy to use for you and your grandmother. Users don't want to be faced with a spreadsheet."
Unless users are technology savvy and music gurus, they are "confused when presented with a set of album artwork", added Lewis.
The only mobile operating system that will be supported from launch is Android, with IOS and Windows Phone apps also coming along in the "very near future", according to Lewis.
Lewis also announced a partnership with PC maker HP that will integrate Rara into products such as laptops as of next year.
We're not sure how Rara will fair in a competitive market up against strong brands such as Spotify. We're not convinced that the existing services are quite as complicated and niche as Omnifone claims. µ
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday
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