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Rdio expands music service to 20 new markets, now streaming to 51 countries

On the same day that Spotify announced a free version of its music-streaming service for mobile users, rival Rdio piped up to let everyone know its global expansion plans are coming along nicely, thank you very much, with users in 20 more territories across Europe and Latin America able to access the service from this week.

This means Rdio is now available in 51 locations across six continents, making it “the second largest music subscription service in the world in terms of countries serviced,” the San Francisco-based startup said in a blog post announcing the news. Spotify currently leads the pack, with availability in 55 markets after rolling out its service to 20 more on Wednesday.

Population-wise, Rdio’s new locations include some pretty big countries – Argentina, Peru, and South Africa among them – giving it a great opportunity to boost its user base significantly.

With the music-streaming space as competitive as ever, and many seemingly successful players continuing to jostle for position, Rdio has been working hard to appeal to new users. Indeed, the introduction in October of a free streaming service for mobile users, albeit one where it chooses what you listen to based on your history and favorite artists, no doubt played a part in persuading Spotify to launch on Wednesday a similar service for iOS and Android.

While users of these free-for-mobile services don’t have total control over playlists, or have to put up with ads between tracks, companies like Rdio and Spotify are hoping you’ll be impressed enough by the free service to start handing over a monthly subscription fee in exchange for access to all the features of the service, and without ads.

Rdio said Wednesday that at the beginning of this year only 30 percent of its monthly active users came from locations outside the US, but that figure has now grown to over half of its user base, 57 percent to be exact.

Here’s the full list of Rdio’s new territories:

Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

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