Rdio To Launch Free Streaming Service By End Of The Year

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Before Apple is able to officially unveil its free new iTunes Radio feature, popular music-streaming service Rdio has revealed that it has struck a deal with Cumulus Media and plans to bring a free version of its service to the market.

The new deal will give Rdio users access to Cumulus’ 525 radio stations which will strip out localized traffic and weather details as well as be used to create playlists and other programs based on the stations and their syndicated shows, explains the New York Times:

“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.”

Cumulus’s content and services have an estimated worth of $100 million, but the deal between Rdio and Cumulus is just a trade, with no cash changing hands, however Cumulus did receive a significant equity stake in Rdio’s parent company, Pulser Media.

To help boost Rdio’s user base, Cumulus will use its 1,500 sales agents around the U.S. to sell commercials for Rdio’s free service that will be available by the end of the year.

Source: New York Times