Cumulus Media Takes Equity Stake in Rdio

4:48 PM PST 09/16/2013 by Paul Bond

The digital radio service is planning an ad-supported product, and Cumulus will handle the selling of commercials.

Cumulus Media said Monday that it has taken a "significant" equity stake in privately held Pulser Media, parent company of Rdio, which competes with better-known digital radio platforms like Spotify and Pandora.

No money changed hands, according to those familiar with the deal. Instead, Cumulus, which owns and operates 520 radio stations, will provide Rdio with exclusive digital rights to content, and it will help market Rdio.

Rdio, which offers access to 20 million songs to subscribers who pay $5-$10 a month, is working on a free, ad-supported product and, under the terms of the deal, Cumulus will use its ad sales force of 1,500 people to sell commercials on the upcoming service.

Rdio was founded in 2010 by Skype co-founder Janus Friis and is headquartered in San Francisco.

Last month, Cumulus said it agreed to pay $260 million to acquire Dial Global, which holds rights to NFL games, NASCAR races and talk shows hosted by Dennis Miller, Herman Cain, Stephanie Miller and others.

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