Cumulus steps up digital fight with Rdio tie-up

AP News
Posted: Sep 16, 2013 1:58 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — Cumulus Media Inc., the second largest radio station owner in the country, is partnering with music streaming service Rdio, stepping up competition with Clear Channel.

The deal, announced Monday, gives Cumulus an undisclosed minority stake in Rdio parent Pulser Media. Clear Channel, the biggest radio station owner in the country, has the iHeart Radio service.

Traditional radio station groups are doing all they can to stay relevant as listeners increasingly spend time on mobile devices with services like Pandora, Rhapsody and Spotify. Apple plans to launch its iTunes Radio on hundreds of millions of devices this week.

No money is changing hands immediately in the deal. Cumulus will offer on-air promotion of Rdio such as commercial time or talk segments. Cumulus will also sell advertising for Rdio's upcoming free streaming service, expected by the end of the year, and provide exclusive content to Rdio, such as its Nash country music channel.

The online streams of Cumulus' 525 radio stations have been playing on Clear Channel's iHeart platform since late 2011. That won't change for the time being.

Cumulus stock rose a penny to $5.26 in midday trading Monday.