Digital M&A: Rdio Acquires TastemakerX, Announces New Exec Hires

There are more moves in the digital radio space. Streaming music platform Rdio has acquired TastemakerX, which operates a music discovery and curation service and enables listeners to discover new music, build and listen to virtual collections, and view artists based on social discovery.

Following the acquisition, all of TastemakerX’s executives and employees will join Rdio, including former CEO and co-founder Marc Ruxin. In his new role, Ruxin will head corporate marketing, ad sales, brand partnerships, programming and business development for Rdio.

Before founding TastemakerX, Ruxin was executive vice president and chief innovation officer at Universal McCann and McCann Erikson.

Rdio also announced two new hires on Monday, with Jim Rondinelli joining the company as senior vice president of content licensing and catalog acquisition, and Mat Bates joining as head of radio and programming.



This is just the latest in a series of strategic deals for Rdio. Last September, Cumulus took a take in Rdio’s parent company, Pulser Media in exchange for exclusive content, media and on-air promotional commitments over a five-year period. Under the terms of the deal, Rdio also gets access to Cumulus’ ad sales personnel to monetize ad-supported free products.

There’s been plenty of activity from other digital radio players, including consolidation on the advertising side. In June, WideOrbit, which provides advertising management software for media companies, announced its acquisition of Abacast, a company that specializes in streaming, live and on-demand advertising insertion and other monetization techniques for digital radio.

There have also been moves on the ratings front. In March, the Media Rating Council granted Triton Digital accreditation for Webcast Metrics Local, a service within Webcast Metrics that measures local streaming audio listening, the company announced Tuesday.

Also in March, Spotify acquired “music intelligence” service The Echo Nest, whose predictive technology is used to power music recommendations on streaming radio services, including Spotify Radio. Spotify said the acquisition would help the company enhance music discovery will also strengthening its ability to help brands and other partners build their audiences.

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