Rdio solidifies Canadian strategy with key hire

Michael Orrbrooke is joining the company as GM in Canada, providing more direct leadership for a market the company calls important to its global presence.
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Rdio has hired Michael Orrbrooke for a newly created general manager position for Canada.

Rdio’s business in Canada was previously handled from its head office in San Francisco, overseen by Scott Bagby, president of international. The new position will provide more direct leadership as the company looks to continue its growth here.

“Canada is one of our most important regions globally,” Lizzie Garlinghouse, director of corporate communications at Rdio, tells MiC. “We’ve been looking for some time to find the right person to lead Canada in this general manager position and Michael is the perfect person for the job.”

Orrbrooke was previously the president and CEO of health-focused pet supply retailer Bark & Fitz, a position he held since 2007. Prior to that, he held a variety of brand management and sponsor strategy roles in the telecommunications sector.

Although the service run ads in the US and Australia, Rdio is not yet ad supported within Canada, instead generating revenue from subscription fees. Garlinghouse says that Rdio does not disclose user numbers, but the company has previously said that Canada is the company’s second-largest market, behind the U.S.

Rdio also operates thanks to corporate partnerships in the country. A major part of Orrbrooke’s duties will be pursuing more strategic and marketing partnerships in Canada, which Garlinghouse says will be announced as they take shape over the coming months. In April, it was announced that Shaw Communications would promote Rdio across its Canadian properties and make an undisclosed financial investment into Pulser Media, the service’s parent company.

Operating in Canada since 2010, Rdio closed its small Canadian office late last year as part of wider company layoffs, consolidating its operations in San Francisco.

Last week, one of Rdio’s main competitors in Canada, Deezer, also shut down its Canadian offices.

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