No cash traded hands in this deal

Online music service Rdio and Cumulus Media have announced that they have signed an agreement to work together. The deal with allow Cumulus Media, which owns 525 radio stations, to gain an online outlet and assist Rdio to better compete with other online companies such as Spotify.

The deal saw Cumulus Media getting what it describes as a significant equity stake in Rdio parent company Pulser Media. The deal will see Rdio gain access to Cumulus programming and Cumulus will promote Rdio on its terrestrial radio stations.

“This is our digital play,” Lewis W. Dickey Jr., the chief executive of Cumulus, said in a joint interview on Friday with Rdio’s chief, Drew Larner.

Cumulus Media also plans to sell advertising for a free version of Rdio in the United States. Rdio typically requires a subscription in the area of $5 to $10 per month and is currently available in 31 global markets.

“The biggest challenge we face is really awareness,” Mr. Larner said. “We live in this bubble in which everybody is talking about this stuff constantly, but to the wider world, streaming is still relatively nascent.”

Interestingly, no cash has changed hands between Rdio and Cumulus. The deal is a pure trade, but terms were not disclosed. Cumulus will create playlists for its syndicated shows and other content for Rdio users to enjoy while stripping out localized details such as weather reports and traffic. 

Source: NYT

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