Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, the biggest pay-TV operator in Malaysia, has launched Raku (short for Radio Aku — “My Radio” in Bahasa Malaysia), a radio and music streaming service. They’re hoping that it will make a difference to radio listeners and artistes in the country.
Henry Tan, chief operating officer of Astro, announced at their recent launch in Petaling Jaya, “We hope people can support Raku because it is a streaming service designed for Malaysians.” He further mentioned that listeners will be able to mix and match music and content of their choice, and that Raku will have a strong local flavour.
Raku provides 20 live radio station broadcasts and podcasts via its free and premium versions. The app will also feature local community updates like news, traffic and sports. Raku is available in Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin and Tamil.
Consumers can subscribe to Raku Premium if they would like to enjoy more functionality. The premium service gives users unlimited access to millions of songs, customised playlists, radio on-demand, as well as other add-ons like the ability to download music to their device for listening when offline.
Raku has also welcomed local telco DiGi as their first premier advertising partner, and announced their partnership at its launch. DiGi previously said in March that its subscribers with Internet plans will now be able to enjoy unlimited streaming and Internet radio services including Deezer, Spotify, Rdio, KKBox, Soundhound, Hitz.fm, Era.fm, My.fm, BE-AT.TV and Q.us.
“We’re happy to partner with Raku as it is very much in line with the ‘DiGi Live’ brand objective to offer our customers the newest and most inspiring entertainment content, along with the latest digital service innovations from partners,” said Praveen Rajan, head of DiGi’s Digital Services.
With the launch of Raku, Astro is set to take on music streaming giants such as Spotify and Deezer, though it seems that it is attempting to differentiate itself by giving the app a local identity.
Raku is free for download on Android and iOS devices, while Raku Premium is available at RM14.90 (US$4.10) per month for all Malaysians via www.raku.my and on Android, as well as at US$5.99 for iOS devices.