Rdio has reportedly signed a deal with Cumulus Media which operates 525 radio stations for a free version of the service that will compete with iTunes Radio.
In exchange for a significant equity stake in the company, Cumulus will give Rdio access to its programming and promote Rdio on the air.
Crucially for Rdio, which was introduced in 2010 and has struggled to gain a foothold in the market, Cumulus will also sell advertising for a free version of the service in the United States. Rdio, which costs $5 to $10 a month and is available in 31 markets around the world, lets its subscribers listen to millions of songs, build playlists and interact with other users.
“The biggest challenge we face is really awareness,” said Rdio’s chief, Drew Larner. “We live in this bubble in which everybody is talking about this stuff constantly, but to the wider world, streaming is still relatively nascent.”
It’s estimated that Cumulus’ content and services are worth more than $100 million.
You can download the current version of Rdio from the App Store for free.
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