Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Digicel, LIME add music to product line up

Published:Friday | January 23, 2015 | 2:29 PM

Digicel customers now have free access to a music-streaming service through its new partnership with Rdio, which operates out of the United States. Subscribers across the telecoms' 31 markets will get 30 minutes of Rdio's service per day without incurring a charge on their data packages.
Digicel Group's announcement comes a month behind Cable and Wireless Communications Plc, which disclosed its partnership in December with music-streaming service Deezer for its 15 Caribbean markets, where the telecom trades as LIME.
The deal with CWC will expand Deezer's regional presence to about 43 markets. Rdio gets to extend its footprint into 24 new markets under the Digicel deal and is said to be entering the Caribbean for the first time.
Digicel customers can access Rdio's service via a free app which is available for download from the Google Play store, the Apple App Store, Windows Phone Store and at Rdio's website. Customers sign up for the Rdio Free service in the app. From there, they can create personalised stations based on their favourite artistes and music genres. The Rdio free service will then suggest new music based on those choices and allow customers to share their stations on social media.
"What we're offering in the first 30 days as part of a promotional offer is we're making the data that you use with the service free and the (Rdio) service itself is always free," said director of data services at Digicel Paul Kenny. He said Rdio would make its revenue from audio and graphics ads that are interspersed in the service.
The Rdio free service can be converted to a paid premium service via upgrade to the ad-free Rdio unlimited service for US$6 to US$7 per month. The unlimited service allows customers to download music for offline listening and to listen to tracks on-demand.
Rdio is a young service that started in 2010 and is based in San Francisco, California. The Digicel deal will expand its markets from 60 to about 85. Kenny said it was possible that Digicel would seek deals with other music-streaming services.
Deezer, a French company, says its users have 35 million songs from which to choose, and further claims to have the largest digital music library in Latin America and the Caribbean. The music streamer is said to have 16 million monthly users, of which six million are paying customers.
Through Deezer, LIME customers will have unrestricted "access to the services and content of their choice", CWC said in December. The service will be available to Flow customers, if and when regulators sign off on the merger of parent Columbus International with CWC.
Music-streaming services worldwide is reportedly a US$1-billion business when measured by revenue.
neville.graham@gleanerjm.com