Rdio was envisioned and launched by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, who have had a dry spell since starting Skype. Rdio, however, could be another smash, thanks to a confluence of trends that the duo appears to be picking up on at the right time.
The centerpiece of Apple's recent product announcements was its new music social network Ping. The core technology from Ping appears to be have been built by the team from Lala.com, the music streaming startup that Apple acquired in January 2009. But without the streaming music model, Ping is half the service Lala used to be. It's not a bad product, it's just not terribly transformative.
The Lala purchase and an iTunes overhaul could tighten Apple's already dominant stranglehold on the music industry's digital-downloading segment. Apple may see a fundamental shift in technology, and it's trying to get out in front.