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Shaw chases listeners in partnership with streaming music company Rdio

Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) is getting into the streaming music business through a partnership with digital service Rdio.

The Calgary-based telecommunications company said Thursday that it 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 (TSX:CJR.B) nearly 15 years ago.

Traditional radio station groups are facing an onslaught of competition from digital services, which are still relatively new in Canada but quickly gaining traction, particularly with younger listeners.

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, two popular international streaming services that aren't 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."

Other investors have recently secured similar deals with Rdio, including Brazilian media conglomerate Grupo Bandeirantes and U.S. radio station owner Cumulus Media.

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