Image courtesy madNESS Photography.

Image courtesy madNESS Photography.

MOBILE carrier Digicel will launch online music service Rdio into Papua New Guinea under an exclusive agreement, the companies have announced.

Founded by Skype creator Janus Friis, Rdio allows its users access to over 32 million songs, streaming them either as a personalised radio station or as an on-demand subscription service.

Digicel is set to serve as Rdio’s sales and marketing arm across the Caribbean, Central American and Pacific nations where it operates, including PNG, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The companies would work together to infuse the streaming service with local influence, they said, working with local brand ambassadors to curate playlists and stations.

“The partnership will go on to develop and launch a pay structure that will fit the mobile usage behaviour of Digicel’s significant user base, introducing a robust new economy to recorded music across these markets,” the companies said in a joint announcement.

Digicel prepaid data customers will be able to listen to Rdio on their mobile phones for 30 minutes each day without accruing data usage charges under the deal.

Rdio chief executive Anthony Bay said the launch was a milestone for the company.

“We are excited to bring the vibrant music of these regions onto Rdio for the world to hear while also providing users in each new market access to international artists,” he said.

“Digicel will be instrumental in shaping the streaming experience locally and we look forward to a continued fruitful partnership with them.”

The deal followed a US$5 million investment by Digicel in microinsurance provider Bima – with Bima allowing customers in PNG to buy insurance cover through their prepaid airtime with the company.