Music subscription service Rdio is now a Live Nation sponsor and will power audio streaming at LiveNation.com. The partnership kicked off last weekend with the Faster Horses country music festival and will continue with the Watershed Music Festival next month. Rdio will also be a sponsor of the Sasquatch! Festival in May. Embracing live music requires being both online and on-site, CEO Drew Larner tells Billboard. Live Nation's presence in country music gives Rdio an opportunity to gain visibility in front of country music fans. "It's a demographic we want to approach and we felt this was a great way to hit that demographic." The company doesn't share specific figures on number of registered users and subscribers, but Larner gives a couple examples of its recent growth. In Brazil, registered users were up nine-fold from June 2012 through June 2013, and up six-fold from January through June. Registered users were up six-fold from June to June. Larner also points to the ranking of Rdio's iOS app at iTunes as an indication of the service's upward trajectory. Rdio rose to #1 among free music apps in June in the United States after steadily ranking between #10 and #20 for much of the year. It has also hit #1 in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico. "We're killing it in Mexico," says Larner. What's driving this growth? Larner says four factors are behind Rdio's growth: partnerships, social media, marketing and the product. Rdio's partnerships with Shazam and SoundHound have "driven a lot of growth." Its partnerships with radio networks in Mexico, Canada and Australia have been big factors in its success in each country. "An extension of terrestrial radio listenership to digital we think makes a lot of sense, so we've been using those partnerships to really drive growth." Sharing on social media has also helped Rdio's recent growth. From the first quarter to second quarter, Facebook has seen the number of unique viewers of Rdio posts increase ten times. "To me that's an indicator that the virality is increasing, that people are talking about Rdio, reading about Rdio, discovering Rdio more on the biggest social network in the world." The third driver is marketing. Rdio does a lot of its own marketing, whether that's outdoor or Facebook mobile advertisements. But the company didn't do any advertising until the end of 2012. Larner says the product itself has been the fourth driver. "We continue to push our product further and further in terms of new iterations and new features. We feel that's our best calling card."
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