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Rdio launches low-cost streaming music tier with $3.99 monthly fee, 25 daily downloads

In a bid to rocket up the streaming music service charts before Apple releases its own branded offering, industry upstart Rdio on Thursday launched a low-cost subscription tier starting at only $3.99 a month, undercutting much of the competition.

Called Rdio Select, the special tier targets consumers who are interested in signing on to streaming music service, but are loathe to pay high monthly fees for special extra features that could go unused. As reported by BuzzFeed, the $3.99-per-month product includes ad-free streaming at 320 kbps, unlimited track skipping and daily download access to 25 songs from Rdio's catalog.

Rdio CEO Anthony Bay likened his company's mid-tier offering to air travel, saying, "We've all been flying airplanes that had business class only. There is no coach."

By paring down features like unlimited downloads and on-demand streaming, Rdio is able to price its product significantly below the competition. For example, streaming music giant Spotify charges an industry standard $9.99 per month, as does Apple's Beats Music. It should be noted, however, that Spotify also markets a free ad-supported on-demand option that has proven to be quite popular.

Apple is widely expected to introduce its own streaming service in the near future. Thought to be a rebranded and retooled Beats Music, Apple's as yet unannounced product could feature exclusives and potentially lower monthly fees, though negotiations are still fluid. Rumors on Wednesday said a social networking element will also be added.

Rdio's stripped-down Select service debuted on iOS and Android on Thursday with initial availability in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.