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Rdio launches free listening on mobile devices

SAN FRANCISCO — The digital music service Rdio launched its free Internet radio service in the United States, Canada, and Australia on Thursday.

The move capitalizes on Rdio’s tie-up with a traditional radio station owner, Cumulus Media, and helps it compete with digital rivals Pandora and Spotify.

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For now, the app, which works on Apple and Android devices, won’t play ads between songs that are randomly picked, based on genres, artists, songs, or albums.

The company hopes nonpaying listeners will sign up for a $10-a-month subscription that adds features like the ability to pick and choose exact songs and albums.

On the Web, Rdio’s radio player will have advertisements that are sold by Cumulus Media Inc.

Cumulus said it was taking a stake in Rdio parent Pulser Media last month.

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