Shaw pacts with Rdio in Canada


Rdio, Inc.Shaw Communications is getting into the streaming music business through a partnership with Cumulus-invested digital service Rdio. The Calgary-based telecommunications company has launched a marketing, content and promotion partnership designed to boost the presence of Rdio in Canada.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though part of the agreement includes an unspecified financial investment by Shaw Ventures in Rdio’s holding company, Pulser Media.

The partnership puts Shaw back into the music business after its radio stations were spun off into Corus Entertainment nearly 15 years ago, reports The Financial Post.

The presence of legal on-demand streaming music in Canada has been limited until recently. Last year, free streaming music service Songza opened an office in Toronto with the goal of getting a head start against its competitors like Spotify and Pandora, not available in Canada yet.

Rdio has a library of more than 20 million songs that can be streamed on various platforms, including through its website and mobile phone apps. The service is advertiser supported, but a monthly subscription fee lets users listen without commercial breaks. The company says Canada is its second-largest market.

“Rdio is the best available digital streaming music experience and a great complement to our leading broadband and Shaw Go Wi-Fi services,” Shaw chief executive Brad Shaw said in a release. “Our partnership with Rdio will develop great offers that will enable Shaw customers and everyone across the country to enjoy this service.”

See the Financial Post story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: It should be interesting to see how fast Rdio catches on in Canada, since it is first to market before Pandora. Canadian broadcasters haven’t yet seen the onslaught of competition from digital services that companies here in the states have to deal with. Shaw should be able to really give Rdio a leg up there—and that will help Cumulus’ bottom line with its sizable investment in Rdio.