NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Rdio isn’t the streaming music service with the most users or features. But unless you’re a serious music nerd, Rdio is the most usable option. For vast amount of music fans, Rdio has the best design and functionality, making it CNNMoney’s Best In Tech for the streaming music category. If you’ve never used a streaming music subscription service like Rdio or Spotify , understand that it’s not Pandora ( P ). You don’t pick a song or artist and then let the service build a randomly-generated playlist for you. Instead, for $10 a month, you have unfettered access to an online jukebox with tens of millions of songs. What really separates Rdio from the competition is its social backbone. You can follow friends, strangers, musicians, businesses, etc. and get a sense of what they’re listening to. Rdio will also recommend songs and artists for you to check out based on your friends’ interests. That may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re not quite sure what to listen to, this feature is one of the best in helping you figure it out.
The higher-end version of Instrument, which is made from heirloom wood, is being considered for a price range that is around $799 and the average consumer version will, possibly, retail for $399. Those price points reflect general trends within the music industry. According to a report by the National Association of Music Merchants, sales of musical instruments is picking up post-recession. More significantly, sales for units priced at above $199 have been rising at a faster rate in the last two years than those for instruments priced under that price range. Achieving a product market fit, however, depends on funding for Artiphon. After raising a quarter million dollars from investors in Nashville, Butera recently made a trip to Silicon Valley. he met investors, attended meetups to introduce his company and instrument, and discussed board seats for his company. Imboden from Jimmyjane signed up to be an advisor while McClure picked up a stake in Artiphon. The latter also sees a strategic fit for Artiphon with other startups in his portfolio, such as Smule Smule or Chromatik or Fanbridge. In the future, I can see a large community of music enthusiasts falling in love with product & future iterations, he says. That said, those future iterations require a location that is conducive to entrepreneurship and close to investors. According to Butera, several investors and venture capitalists have asked him to move to either Silicon Valley or New York. For now, though, the recently-married Pennsylvania native, who has been in Nashville for close to a dozen years, is staying put. It is a central location, he says, referring to the fact that he can fly to either coast from Tennessee. In addition, the Nashville music community is an excellent sounding board for his product.