Stingray Digital partners with Singapore media company in global growth plan

Music provider Stingray Digital Group is making a bigger leap into the global market under a pact with Singapore-based media company Multi Channels Asia.

The partnership gives Eric Boyko, president of the Montreal-based company, a position on MCA’s board and opens the door to further expansion in Asia.

“We wanted to show the Asian market that we’re not just coming in fly-by-night, but that we’re investing in the region,” Boyko said in an interview Thursday.

“It’s still a new market and we want to go step-by-step.”

Stingray has made a convertible debt investment in MCA, which means it can eventually swap that position for shares of the company.

In Singapore, Stingray plans to open an office as it learns more about the local market, which Boyko said has about 500 million TV subscribers.

It’s the latest global move for the company, which has been making bigger inroads outside Canada.

Stingray (TSX:RAY.A) offers a variety of digital music services for cable providers through Stingray Music, a collection of Canadian cable TV channels formerly known as Galaxie Music. In other regions, the company operates music video channels focused on niche genres like opera, classical and jazz.

International operations have represented a growing part of Stingray’s overall business, with global sales making up 39 per cent of the overall revenue during the third quarter — an increase of 50 per cent from a year earlier.

The company reported Thursday that net income more than quadrupled to $9.2 million from $2.2 million as the company factored in results from a recent takeover of several music channels.

Over the past several years, Stingray has been making piecemeal acquisitions as it expands services to both TV viewers and retailers who pay for themed digital music channels that fit their shopper demographics.

For consumers, Stingray has a streaming music app that gives listeners programmed feeds of non-stop music on more than 1,500 channels that cover seemingly every genre.

Boyko said the selections offer listeners an escape. He points to the popularity of its spa channel, which consistently ranks as the most popular Stingray feed.

“You know, traffic in Montreal, the water’s getting dirty because they’re dumping in the water, so you come home and put (it on),” he said.

“We’ll take care of the situation, you do the cooking, put the kids to bed and Stingray will be your background music.”

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