Music-streaming service Rara quietly launched in Australia earlier this year. Now, the two-year-old service is gearing up to add more features for music lovers.
Rara's catalogue currently contains over 18 million tracks, spanning major and independent labels. Already available through a web interface and standalone Android app, Rara will also be available across Windows 8 and iOS devices.
The music-streaming service has a global partnership deal with Lenovo, which will see Rara apps preloaded onto a range of its tablets and mobile phones. This is on top of its existing deal with HP.
Given the saturated streaming market, Rara CEO Nick Massey said that the service targets the mainstream user, rather than the music aficionado. It differentiates itself from the crowd by offering a local service that is centred around curated playlists.
"We target a mass-market consumer who uses music as part of their life, but doesn't spend all of their life researching and getting into bands," he says. "[Rara has] a team of musicologists based in London, who prepare and develop playlists for each user in each market, based on local tastes."
Australian Rara users will get access to tailored regional playlists that tap into the local music scene. Even though the team is in London, Massey assured consumers that "they are plugged in locally, and have got all the right relationships to ensure the playlists are relevant".
Users sign up to the service by paying a monthly fee, which starts at 99 cents per month (web only) for the first 3 months. Unlike rival service Spotify, there is no free model that subsidises these accounts by serving ads.
Massey doesn't think that pricing is a key factor for consumers when it comes to choosing between services, saying that most of the offerings on the market are priced in a comparable way. It's the serving of audio ads that he believes detracts from the overall listening experience.
"You can just imagine if you've got your friends around the table and you're having a good old time, then every few minutes, you have to listen to advertising. That sort of spoils the experience a little bit," he says.
"Our interface is incredibly simple, very intuitive, and if you look at the devices, as well as the web client, they're very beautiful … a lot of work and effort goes in to keep the complexity away, and just offer the consumers the things that matter. We firmly believe that less is more, we just get you to the music very quickly."