Service will pay for new subscribers to website

Looking to boost paid traffic and incentivize musicians, subscription streaming service Rdio is launching the Rdio Artist Program, which will allow artists to directly earn from music streamed on the site.

Plan is good news for performers who have groused about the limited payouts seen from play on streaming services like Rdio and its major competitor, Spotify. Payments amount to a thousandth of a cent per streamed track.

Though lagging well behind top dog Spotify in terms of use and facing competition from other streaming services like MOG and offshore site Deezer, Rdio — mounted by Janus Friis, Danish creator of online phone and video communications site Skype — is still among the key streaming players. Service, which offers both paid and free models, is active in 14 countries.

Rdio chief exec Drew Larner said in a statement, “All sorts of talented and innovative artists have found an audience for their music online. But it’s incredibly hard to make a living doing it. The Artist Program offers artists a way to supplement their existing revenue streams by doing what they do naturally — connecting with fans.”

On the new platform, musicians will be able to share their music and recommendations with fans, who will be able to listen via Rdio and other sites including Twitter and Facebook. Artists will earn $10 for every new subscriber they attract to Rdio via social media.

Participating artists will receive a Web-based tool to manager their fan accounts. They will also receive real-time referral stats on visitors and subscribers, Rdio artist page customization options and tools for trackable link creation and embeddable players for any Rdio music content.

Acts that have taken the plunge with the new program include Scissor Sisters, Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion), Chromeo and Brendan Benson.

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