Layoffs at Music Service Rdio Hit Engineering

Streaming music startup Rdio blasted its workforce this week with across-the-board layoffs that reportedly affect some 35 people, or upwards of one-third of its workers, according to TechCrunch.

Rdio-Logo-GradientA large number of the affected employees are reportedly in the engineering department and, surprisingly, were focused on mobile and Web apps. One hopeful note: with a number of companies looking for ways to bring mobility to their products and services, Rdio’s mobile engineers may find a new gig with little effort.

Rdio told TechCrunch it’s cutting its workforce to “improve its cost structure and ensure a scalable business model for the long term.”

The company’s business model is somewhat perplexing. Rdio offers a limited number of advertising-free, full-length music streams each month for up to six months. After a user runs out of that allotment, they can subscribe for a monthly fee, or wait for the next month to roll around. But some users may try to circumvent that system by opening multiple accounts with different emails, or jump over to competitor Pandora until the next month kicks in. In October, Rdio said it would offer its service to Android and iOS users for free, even if their subscription has expired.

In the meantime, the company’s executives are apparently bailing. Todd Berman, the three-year-old company’s first engineering vice president, left in March. CEO Drew Larner has said he will step down as soon as a replacement is found, though he’ll remain as executive chairman.

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