Skype founders return with Rdio – a We7 or a Spotify clone?

[International] It looks like the founders of Skype are already moving on from the recent Skype controversy and the failure of Joost. Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are planning to return to the startup fray with Rdio, which is already being prematurely dubbed by the media as a “Spotify killer”.

Rdio is currently funded by their own venture capital fund, Atomico Ventures. The plan is to launch in the US first – though whether is will beat Spotify’s US launch plans remains to be seen. The CEO is Drew Larner, who comes from the film industry.

Friis has told Bloomberg today: “We have watched many ad-supported music businesses come and go. We felt the time was right to revisit this space, this time with a compelling offering and a sustainable subscription model.”

Rdio will be a streaming music service allowing users to archive their playlist and share it from a web browser and mobiles. The basic service will be free, alongside some sort of premium service. Sounds familiar. But in fact it could equally be closer to the browser-based We7 as much as Spotify, which is desktop software based.

And perhaps the page source of the startups give part of their game away.

Looking closely at the page source code, it contains commmands such as:

span class=”cluster_button add” title=”Add to your collection”

div id=”syncmanager_install_dialog” class=”syncmanager_install_dialog”

The latter does suggest some kind of software model.

And it also has calls to upgrade the user’s browser to Internet Explorer 7, Firefox, Safari or Chrome as “Rdio does not currently support Internet Explorer 6”.

It’s an interesting return to the music space for Friis and Zennstrom, who came up with the Kazaa P2P file sharing platform prior to its war with the music industry, sale and their subsquent launch of Skype using similar P2P technology.