Malaysian radio network Astro launches $4-per-month Spotify rival

Astro, the company behind, ERA fm, MIX fm and other popular radio stations in Malaysia, has launched its own new music and radio streaming mobile app, RAKU.

The satellite TV and radio operator’s RAKU is available in two versions – Free and Premium.

The ad-supported free RAKU tier allows consumers to shuffle play on albums and playlists, listen to live radio stations and access local and international podcasts.

RAKU Premium is available at RM14.90 per month for all Malaysians (US $4.10) or at RM9.90 (US $2.70) for existing Astro subscribers.

The tier comes with unlimited access to millions of tracks from a catalogue of millions of songs, as well as customized playlists, radio on-demand and other bespoke add-ons such as being able to download music to their device for listening when offline.

Spotify launched in Malaysia in 2013. Its paid-for tier also costs customers RM14.90 per month.

“RAKU is designed for Malaysins, enabling users to pick and choose the best of local and international music and radio.”

Henry Tan, Astro

In addition, Premium access allows users to create their own radio station and playlists and share them with their friends on social media.

Local artists with a playlist on RAKU include Noh Salleh, Tres Empre, Bittersweet, Enterprise, Man Bai, Alleycats, Dasha Logan and many more including indie bands like Paper Plane Pursuit, Pop Shuvit and Bunkface.

Local DJs with playlists on the radio streaming service include Ean, Jin and RD (hitz fm), Haniff and Hani (ERA fm), and Aanantha (THR Raaga).

Henry Tan, Chief Operating Officer of Astro said, “RAKU is designed for Malaysians, enabling users to pick and choose the best of local and international music and radio content with options to combine with podcasts. RAKU looks to increase its advertisers’ value proposition by offering innovative opportunities for advertisers to engage with their target consumers.”

Jake Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Astro Radio, said, “I am pleased that RAKU is able to strengthen its commitment to supporting Malaysian artistes and indie bands by offering a new way of connecting with their fans. Advertisers who are interested in engaging their consumers also have the chance to leverage on RAKU’s extensive reach through its innovative media buy. Now they can offer a specific ad targeted to a single consumer in a single context, offering more cost-effective advertising.”

RAKU is available via its website, Android and iOS devices. RAKU is available in BM, English, Mandarin and Tamil.

Astro has signed a deal with local telco Digi as RAKU’s first premier advertising partner.Music Business Worldwide

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