Pandora Places Rdio in Its Box, Brings Out Heavy Competition

The granddaddy of them all just got a little younger.

ICYMI: The audio-streaming business is steep in competition. What with Rhapsody, Grooveshark,, Slacker and the rest of the gang, it’s hard out there for an app.

Near the top of the mountain, there are three kings — Pandora, Spotify and now Apple Music. Caught up in the troika of streaming supremacy was Rdio. It had a cleaner interface, more “undiscovered” tunes, and the ability to do what the others could — outside of the predictability Pandora’s genome project provides.

And that got Pandora thinking… so it is buying Rdio for $75 million for its “technology and intellectual property.” This means Rdio is filing bankruptcy and Pandora is throwing a party.

“Whether streaming through radio, on-demand or in-person at live events, Pandora is building the definitive source for fans to discover and celebrate music,” said Brian McAndrews, chief executive officer at Pandora. “Wherever and however fans want to hear music, we intend to be their go-to destination.”

Pandora has been doing this for 15 years and pretty much pioneered the offering to music aficionados everywhere. However, its premium service hasn’t helped the old fart turn much of a profit.

Consider how people work — they don’t mind others offering ideas, as long as you give them enough leash to do what they want. Pandora can’t do that. Spotify and Apple Music both do. And so, we will see “an expanded Pandora experience” in late 2016.

The headlines have been very positive. The PR has been alluring for the brand. And the competition is left thinking about not ever opening Pandora’s Box.