Rdio and Cumulus Media to announce partnership, add free streaming soon

Today, Rdio and Cumulus Media are slated to announce a partnership between the two companies, one slated to help boost the Internet radio service into more popular waters via, among other things, an advertisement-based free version in the U.S. Cumulus Media owns 525 radio stations, and will provide Rdio with access to its programming content.

In addition to giving Rdio access to its terrestrial radio station programming, Cumulus Media will also promote the Internet radio service on its traditional radio stations, giving it a very wide advertisement stream. All of this will be rounded out by Cumulus also selling ads to make a free version of the service available for users located in the United States, potentially opening it up to quite a few more users.

For now, the service remains at its current pricing structure, and the partnership has not been officially announced yet, though according to The New York Times, it will happen some time today. The programming it provides for Rdio will be similar to programming it offers on radio stations, but will not include local-specific information. Likewise, it is also indicated that it will make syndicated shows available through the service.

The deal will see both Cumulus and Rdio sharing the advertisement revenue generated through the sale of radio commercials, something made possible using Cumulus's 1500 sales personnel. As for the deal between the two companies, the NYT reports that no money exchanged hands, with the two companies instead trading between themselves. Cumulus, for part of its goods, will gain a "significant equity stake" in Rdio's Pulser Media.

The free version of Rdio, meanwhile, is expected to launch later this year, putting the company in direct competition with Spotify.

SOURCE: New York Times