Canadian gov't rules publicly-funded CBC's music service not unfair to private operators

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 1:30pm

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has decided it's not competitively unfair to private operators for the publicly-funded CBC to have launched the CBC Music portal.

In February (RAIN coverage here), Canada's national broadcaster launched the CBC Music service, with CBC FM streams, 40 Internet-only radio streams, on-demand music, and other audio content. Since then, private broadcasters like Stingray Digital (which operates cable television music service Galaxie and have argued public funding and supposed preferential royalty rates gave CBC an unfair advantage in the field (see more in our coverage here).

The CRTC ruled, "SDG has not demonstrated that the CBC has given anyone, including itself, a preference, or that it has subjected anyone to a disadvantage." Read more from CBC here.

Canadian telecom Shaw gives customers 15 commercial-free channels of "cultural music"

Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 11:00am

Canadian television, Internet, and telephone company Shaw Communications has unveiled fifteen branded commercial-free online music channels, powered by Galaxie Music.

While there are a couple "usual suspects" formats among the offerings ("Canadian Indie," "Headbangers," "Hip Hop"), most of the channels are dedicated to contemporary Asian genres ("Guangdong," "Punjabi," "Bollywood Hits," "Mando Pop") and other "cultural music."

Galaxie is the music content provider owned by Montreal-based Stingray Digital, who last year struck a deal with Canadian label-group Music Canada to pay $0.002 CAD per performance (see our coverage here) for the streaming rights to copyright recordings. In August, Stingray launched 45 commercial-free, subscription-based streaming music channels for mobile devices. These channels were branded as Galaxie for various cable and satellite television services.

Shaw's branded versions of the Galaxie channels will be made available on Shaw's television service as well. In total, 55 Galaxie music stations are now available to Shaw Digital TV customers for free.

In October, Astral Radio announced its on-demand music streaming service (see RAIN here, with more recent coverage here), offering "niche format channels" and "personalized streaming music." Just last month, the CBC announced it had forged a licensing deal that will enable it to launch its own digital music service (our coverage is here). Read more about Shaw's announcement here.

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