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Microsoft tipped to snap up music start-up Rdio

Michelle Hammond /

Microsoft is in talks to acquire US-based digital music service Rdio, a start-up created by a co-founder of Skype, it’s been reported.

 

According to The Next Web, Microsoft is in talks to acquire Rdio, a San Francisco-based start-up launched in August 2010. Rdio was founded by Janus Friis, one of the creators of Skype.

 

With on-demand access to more than 18 million songs, Rdio connects people with music and makes it easy to search for and instantly play any song, album, artist or playlist.

 

Users can see what friends and recording artists are listening to in real time, and share across Twitter and Facebook. Rdio is available in more than a dozen countries including Australia.

 

While Rdio chief executive Drew Larner has refused to comment on the rumour, insisting there “is nothing to talk about”, it comes amid an attempt by Microsoft to ramp up its efforts with regard to music.

 

For example, Microsoft’s Xbox entertainment brand is planning to introduce a new music streaming service called Xbox Music.

 

Meanwhile, chief executive Steve Ballmer has said the company is keen to transform itself into a “devices-and-services company”, which could include additional music services.

 

While a deal with Rdio is yet to be confirmed, there has been another acquisition in the tech scene.

 

Ancestry.com, the world’s largest for-profit genealogy company, has acquired San Francisco-based start-up 1000memories, which allows people to digitise and share their old photos.

 

The service is centred around “shoeboxes” – collections of photos from someone’s past, created around a theme or event they can share with a particular group of people.

 

Founded by Rudy Adler and Brett Huneycutt, 1000memories was launched through Y Combinator in 2010 out of a desire to “add a past tense” to the internet.

 

There are six members in the 1000memories team, all of whom will be joining the Ancestry.com office, which is also based in San Francisco.

 

In a company blog post, Adler said the team is pleased to announce 1000memories has been acquired by Ancestry.com.

 

“We’ve had the privilege of getting to know the team at Ancestry.com over the past two years, and are excited to join forces and expand the reach of 1000memories,” Adler wrote.

 

“To mark the occasion, we’re launching a new version of ShoeBox for iPhone, enabling users to post photos directly to their forebears’ profiles on Ancestry.com.”

 

“This is the first step in a broader plan that will see tighter integration of the two services in the coming months.”

 

Adler went on to speak about the start-up’s humble beginnings, which saw the team “holed up” at a hotel near an airport.

 

“With high aspirations, we left comfortable jobs in cities we loved to build software that would make people’s lives better,” she said.

 

“The idea for 1000memories was born out of our personal frustration with not being able to tell stories of people’s lives – the people most important to us.”

 

“Not only will Ancestry.com keep the site running but [it] will continue to invest in its success. We’ll have more resources and the backing of the global leader in family history.”

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