The new digital music subscription service Rara hopes to bring online streaming downloads to the technologically challenged. Aimed at beginners just making the jump from CDs to high-tech tunes, it beams music on demand to 16 countries, offering initial access to a library of over 10 million tracks for under a dollar each.
Accessible via the Web, Android and iOS devices, Rara allows users to enjoy songs in all genres for $0.99 apiece for the first three months, after which cost rises to $4.99 for a monthly subscription. Listening in via mobile devices, e.g. Android smartphones, will cost $1.99 for the next 90 days, with charges increasing to $9.99 per month thereafter. Rara’s catalogue includes music by both emerging artists and the world’s best-known acts, including selections from major record labels such as Universal, EMI, Sony and Warner. Indie imprints and albums are also represented.
Looking to compete with established rivals such as Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Slacker, Rhapsody, MOG and others, Rrara believes it can make inroads by offering high-tech novices an idiot-proof interface, greater convenience and ad-free songs. As well as providing users with a massive virtual jukebox accessible from a variety of gadgets, the service also promises curated music channels and playlists that make it simple to discover albums and artists.
The company says its streamlined, graphical user front-end, which it claims makes cueing music "as easy as switching on your radio or CD player,” will prove a key feature. Coupled with automatic artist and song suggestions, plus options to share playlists and tracks through social networks such as Facebook, the service looks to offer a more accessible alternative to existing online music platforms. Rara claims that 60% of shoppers have never experienced digital music (a figure at odds with some competitors' information), so they are attempting to court those music fans who still do their shopping via local retailers and big-box chains.
Curiously, Rara plans to bring in actual musicians to provide input, including songwriter Imogen Heap, who will serve as an editor on the service’s Music Advisory Board. Rara is now available for use in the USA, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and nearly a dozen other countries, and will launch in Canada and Mexico later this week.