Thanks to a partnership with mobile carrier Digicel, Rdio will now be available to 14 million subscribers in a number of new territories across Central America, Asia-Pacific, and the Caribbean, including Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, Haiti, Suriname, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea.
This rollout now brings Rdio to 85 markets in total, 20 more than Spotify, though about 100 less than Deezer.
Rdio’s approach to launching in these territories is different to others, and given the focus here on emerging markets, the exclusive tie-up with Digicel is key.
As part of the deal, prepaid customers will be given half an hour of free Rdio Internet radio streaming a day, without drawing any data charges. And Digicel will also help push Rdio in the new regions, effectively alleviating a major marketing headache for the company.
While this tactic has been used by other music-streaming companies looking to enter emerging markets, Deezer also used the partnership approach last year when it finally launched in the U.S. via a deal with Bose. Such a partnership guarantees at least some traction on launch, so you can hit the ground running.
Founded by Skype cocreator Janus Friis in 2010, Rdio has built a solid fan base over the years, though it has faced mounting pressure in many markets from the likes of Spotify, Deezer, and Beats Music.
Launching in India last week was a major boon for the service, given its direct competitors elsewhere have yet to launch there. Now it’s looking to make headway in other territories too, with a little help from a major player in these markets.