CBC Launches New Music Streaming Service

CBC Launches New Music Streaming Service
While the CBC's CD and vinyl archives are in the process of being downsized, the public broadcaster upped the ante on its web content when it launched the digital CBC Music service today (February 13).

The broadcaster reports that its free online service is accessible via a newly revealed website and a downloadable app, and gives listeners the opportunity to sample 40 web-based radio stations and view multiple blog posts from CBC personalities. The stations range in genre from hip-hop and R&B, to jazz and classical, to rock and pop. You can also access CBC Radio 2 and 3.

Executive director of radio and audio for CBC English Services Chris Boyce explained that the new initiative allows the broadcaster "to connect with listeners in something we've done well -- music -- but in new ways."

"Not only are we providing music, we're helping people find the music and understand the music," he said. "There's a ton of rich content that helps people understand the music as well as listen to it."

Senior vice-president of research firm Vision Critical Communications Jeff Vidler added that CBC Music will help Canada catch up to the U.S. and UK in terms of having a strong online broadcasting presence. While companies like Spotify and Pandora are big players abroad, they have yet to come to Canada. Vidler points to Canadian copyright law and rights negotiations as having caused some companies to skip out on Canada thus far.

"It's really underdeveloped in Canada, relative to other territories. If you look at the U.S. or Britain, it's much higher in terms of use of internet radio services or online music-streaming services," he said. "The Pandoras and the Spotifys haven't bothered to come to the Canadian market, to go through those negotiations. To some extent, they're a little nervous about the copyright regime here."

Despite the new online service and expected cuts handed down from the federal government when the next budget is announced, CBC Music is not the death knell of the broadcaster's traditional radio services.

"It continues to be an important part of the mix," Boyce confirmed.